South Korea will begin mass production of a newly upgraded Cheongung 2 interceptor missile after successfully completing a number of quality tests. Cheongung II accurately hit a missile and an aircraft target in firing tests conducted at the Anheung test site in the western city of Taean, in July and August, respectively, according to the South Korean Defense Agency for Technology and Quality. With the successful completion of the quality certification tests, Cheongung II will now enter the stage of mass production. In July 2021, South Korea retired its last MIM-23 Hawk system, phasing it out for the Cheongung Block-1.
The Cheolmae-2 which is also known as the Cheongung or KM-SAM often dubbed the Korean equivalent of the U.S.-made Patriot missile defense system is a South Korean surface-to-air missile (SAM) system that was developed by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) with technical support from Almaz-Antey and Fakel, based on technology from the 9M96 missile used on S-350E and S-400 missile systems. Though it was developed in Russia by the Almaz Design Bureau with assistance from Samsung Thales, LIG Nex1, and Doosan DST, localization and industrialization were done in South Korea enough to consider it an indigenous system.
The KM-SAM is the middle-tier of South Korea’s three-tier aerial and missile defense system. A complete battery consists of four to six 8-cell transporter erector launchers (TELs), a passive electronically scanned array (PESA) X-band multi-function phased array 3D radar (based on the one from the Russian S-400), and a fire command vehicle. The radar operates in the X-band and rotates at a rate of 40 rpm, covering up to 80 degrees in elevation.It can detect targets within 100 km (62 mi) and track up to 40 simultaneously. The Cheongung 2 can intercept targets up to an altitude of 15 km (49,000 ft) at a range of 40 km (25 mi).
The Cheolmae-2 medium-range air defense missile will be able to be launched from the Korean Vertical Launch System (K-VLS) aboard Daegu-class frigates in a naval role. The Cheolmae 4-H was to be an upper tier interceptor designed to take down ballistic missiles, offering capabilities similar to that of the American Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile with a range of 150 km (93 mi) and ceiling of 200,000 ft (61 km). Performance levels were to be twice as superior to the Patriot and Cheolmae II missiles, and was expected to be based on the Russian S-400 technology. This role was filled by development of the L-SAM.