SEOUL, (BM) – According to the local Yonhap news agency, the South Korean air force received the first Cheongung II short/medium-range air and missile defense systems from the domestic defense industry, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24.
The delivered systems were to be deployed in South Korea and included in the national air defense system. This system is a modernized version and development of the Cheongsung I system, which is the first native system of this type in South Korea. Work on this version began in 2012, and now, after completed research and testing, it has entered mass production. Ultimately, this system, after satisfying the native needs, is intended for export. In South Korea’s national three-tier air defense system, it occupies the middle tier.
Cheongsung II, also known as Cheomae-2 or K-SAM / M-SAM, is a South Korean medium-range air and missile defense system. It was created due to the cooperation of local companies such as Samsung Thales, LIG Nex, or Doosan DST, with considerable support and collaboration with the Russian defense industry, especially the Almaz-Antiej concern [which resulted in the S-350E Vityaz system on the Russian side]. The system effector was directly based on the 9M96 surface-to-air missile technology [used in the S-350E Witiaź and S-400 Triumf systems].
This system’s full battery consists of six 8-rail launchers/transporters, a passive electronic scanning radar station operating in the X-band, and a fire control vehicle. This system can hit air targets at an altitude of up to 15 km and a distance of up to 40 km. The radar allows them to be detected within a radius of 100 km and track up to 40 simultaneously. In South Korea’s national three-tier air defense system, it occupies the middle tier. Some sources, including IHS Jane’s, say that the system can also fight some ballistic missiles.
Currently, the South Korean Air Force has several different types of air defense systems. These include the American MIM-104 Patriot obtained initially from the Bundeswehr surplus and upgraded to the PAC-3 / PAC-3 + version [8 batteries], the American MIM-23 I-Hawk [24 batteries], and the South Korean Cheongung I [10 batteries in total]. The introduction of the Cheongung II system into service will allow for the complete replacement and decommissioning of the now obsolete systems despite the modernization of the I-Hawk systems, and thus also supplementing the “medium-tier” of South Korean air defense.
South Korea will have a new self-propelled howitzer with an unmanned turret
As we reported on November 24 according to the South Korean concern Hanhwa Defense, work has begun on a new version of the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer with an unmanned turret. State research on this variant, designated K9A2, is expected to begin later this year.
The latest version of the K9 is to be equipped with a fully unmanned turret system with a fully automatic ammunition loading and handling system. This is to significantly increase the rate of fire and reduce the number of crew members. Initial research and development on this version of K9 is expected to be completed within the next few years. According to the plan, the K9A2 is to participate in the program of purchasing a new self-propelled howitzer for the British Army, which plans to eventually replace and withdraw the currently operated AS90s from the line service.
From 2018, Hanwha Defense is to deliver a modernized version of the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer, designated K9A1. The modifications introduced therein include, among others, a modernized automatic fire control system, inertial and satellite navigation system, thermal imaging device for the driver and a reversing camera, and a new auxiliary power unit.
The K9 Thunder is a South Korean self-propelled gun howitzer designed by Samsung Techwin for the needs of the South Korean army and currently produced by Hanwha Land Systems. These systems are also used by export users such as Estonia, Finland, India and Norway, and several more countries are interested in acquiring them.
The crew consists of five people: commander, gunner, loader, assistant loader and driver. The main armament is a 155 mm gun with a length of 52 caliber with a range of 40 km. The stock of ammunition is 48 rounds and propellant charges ready for use. The ammunition is loaded with an automated system, thanks to which the rate of fire is up to 12 rounds per minute. It is powered by the 1000 HP MTU MT 881 Ka-500 diesel engine, which weighs 47 tons and provides a top speed of 67 km / h and a range of 480 km.
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