South Korea conducted trials of two Cheongung anti-aircraft guided missiles and hit a mock target in its first live-fire mission since the homegrown missile was deployed.
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, Yonhap reported Thursday.
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.