SEOUL --- Two Cheongung anti-aircraft guided missiles flew around 40 kilometers and hit a mock target accurately in its first live-fire mission since the South Korea-made system was deployed, the Air Force said Thursday.
The Cheongung medium-range surface-to-air missile (KM-SAM) was among the weapons systems mobilized for a firing contest hosted by the Air Defense Artillery Command. The others were the mid-range Patriot system, short-range Mistral missiles and Vulcan cannons.
More than 300 troops of 10 units under the wing of the command joined the event held at the Daecheon shooting range in South Chungcheong Province, according to the Air Force.
It was an annual ground-to-air live-fire competition aimed at sharpening the capability of countering various aerial threats infiltrating at a mid to low altitude.
The Air Force operated unmanned target aircraft for the contest.
A Patriot missile first intercepted a simulated enemy jet and the Mistral and the Vulcan shot down another plane approaching the coastal area at a low altitude, according to the Air Force.
The Cheongung missiles, in particular, traveled at the speed of Mach 4.5, or some 5,500 kph, to strike a target around 40 km away, it added.
Cheongung was deployed to local combat units late last year. It uses a "cold launch" mechanism unlike other anti-aircraft guided missiles.
The military is operating the Block-I type targeting aircraft and pushing for the upgraded Block-II version with the capability of intercepting ballistic missiles.