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South Korea’s New Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile Will Have Multi-Role Capabilities

This information came out during the recent seminar on the ‘technology development of aviation weapons systems’ in South Korea.

Specifically, this air-launched supersonic missile will come with two choices of warheads. Like with the French MICA air to air missile, the tip of the anti-ship missile can be swapped depending on its mission. The seeker of the “Air-to-Ship Guided Missile-II” will have RF / IIR / EO to respond to all situations and targets. South Korea previously developed multi-mode seekers that can be mounted on various missiles (Hyunmoo, L-SAM, Land based Supersonic AShM etc.).

This ducted-ramjet supersonic Air-to-Ship Guided Missile-II, will be slightly smaller in size than originally expected: A Diameter of 400mm to 350mm, a weight of 940kg and a length of about 6 meters.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s ADD (Agency for Defense Development) is developing a long range air-to-air missile which will also use Ducked-Ramjet engine. The diameter of long range air-to-air missile is approximately 200 mm, which is larger than AIM-120 AMRAAM and equal to AIM-7 Sparrow.

The KF-21 Block-I, which will be mass-produced for the first time next year. It is expected to adopt Britain’s Meteor (MBDA) missile, and the KF-21 Block-II and later models are expected to adopt South Korea’s long-range ducted-ramjet air-to-air missile.

Although the development of the Air-Launched long-range Cruise Missile (ALCM) which is ‘장공지-II’ or ‘천룡’ meaning ‘Skydragon’ is going smoothly in Korea, their recent defense plans emphasize real-time strikes in all areas, which is why this Air-to-Ship Guided Missile-II’s multi-purpose/role capabilities appear to have been given the green light.

According to government officials, the test of this Air-to-Ship Guided Missile-II‘s ramjet engine appears to have been completed on January 18, 2023.

The launch test will be conducted from a FA-50 fighter in 2025. And according to officials from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the ADD, the assembly of Hypersonic Cruise Missiles (HCM) will be completed in the second half of this year and a test launch will take place next year. The range of the missile is 300km and its speed Mach 2.5. Performance figures that are close to that of Japan’s ASM-3 anti-ship missile. LIG Nex1 is expected to the main contractor.

The new missile is part of South Korea’s kill chain strategy.

Last but not least, Hanwha and KAI appear to be developing an air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) for the KF-21.

However, the development schedule of this ALBM is not yet clear with the three types of missiles described above (Air-to-Ship Guided Missile-II, Long range air to air missile, Hypersonic cruise missile).

Source : Naval News