S. Korea develops air-to-ground guided missile for light armed helicopter

SEOUL– South Korea has successfully completed a 180 billion-won (US$138 million) project to develop an air-to-ground guided missile to be fitted on a homegrown light armed helicopter (LAH), the state arms procurement agency said Monday.

The missile, named Cheongeom, passed a combat suitability assessment on Dec. 12, capping more than seven years of development efforts led by the state-run Agency for Defense Development, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

Cheongeom means heavenly sword in Korean. Its English name is Tank Snipers, or TAipers.

The missile project had proceeded in line with the country’s efforts to secure a locally developed LAH. The government recently approved a project for the mass production of LAHs to replace the aging fleet of 500MD and AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters

The missile has “fire-and-forget” capabilities, enabling it to fly to an intended target without further action by an operator once it is launched. It also boasts “fire-and-update” technology, allowing an operator to redesignate the target through a data link even after launch.

The missile is also equipped with artificial intelligence technology, enabling it to detect a fixed target without an operator’s intervention in the event of a contingency, according to DAPA.

DAPA is weighing the possibility of modifying the missile into a ground-to-ground version to be mounted on battle tanks, armored vehicles and other ground platforms, it said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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