South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) has successfully conducted key performance tests of a homegrown ship-based guided missile ahead of its deployment next year. The South Korea Defense Agency for Technology and Quality (DTaQ) said that the missile, called the Haegung, hit the intended target in two tests, one conducted on Wednesday and one Friday. The missile is designed to intercept incoming missiles or shoot down hostile aircraft. The Republic of Korea Navy plans to deploy the weapons system to its key warships, such as frigates, landing ships, and minelayer ships.
The K-SAAM (Korean Surface to Air Anti Missile, “Haegung” or Sea Bow”) is a South Korean medium-range ship-based surface-to-air missile (SAM) system that is being developed by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD), LIG Nex1, and Hanhwa Defense. It features inertial mid-course guidance and a dual microwave and Infrared homing seeker for terminal guidance. It will replace RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM). The 3.07-meter-long K-SAAM is to be housed in a four-cell vertical launch system, four of which are intended to be fitted to the warships, providing 16 missiles per ship.
Development started in 2011 which was extended for 2 more years after a series of failures during testing in 2016 with testing in 2017 being deemed successful and questioned by an anonymous source with knowledge involving evaluation test which referred to North Korean Kumsong-3 anti-ship missile as one of the major threats for ROK navy’s ships along with other neighboring countries. The state-funded Agency for Defense Development is in charge of the $140 million projects to produce the medium-range, ship-based missile in collaboration with LIG Nex1, precision-guided missile manufacture.