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South Korea completes development of Cheongeom ATGM

A mock-up of the modular twin-tube launcher of Cheongeom missile, which is a standard configuration for the Light Armed Helicopters developed by Korea Aerospace Industries. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) announced that the development of the Cheongeom air-launched anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) has been completed.

Cheongeom, which has been in development since November 2015, will be integrated into the Light Armed Helicopters (LAHs) developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces, DAPA said in a media release on 19 December.

The ATGM – jointly developed by the state-owned Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and Hanwha Defense – qualified the combat suitability assessment on 12 December, DAPA added.

Cheongeom has reportedly been developed under a KRW180 billion (USD139.5 million) project.

DAPA said the ATGM has “fire-and-forget” and “fire-and-update” capabilities, enabling the missile to hit a target without human intervention as well as enabling the operator to “redesignate the target” after the missile has been launched.

Cheongeom is equipped with an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm, and has “deep learning of over 800,000 frames of target images”, making it possible for the ATGM to “automatically capture fixed targets without the operator's intervention in case of an emergency”, DAPA said.

Cheongeom's armour penetration capability is at par with the US' Hellfire II, DAPA said, adding that Cheongeom has also demonstrated superior guidance than Hellfire II.

According to Janes Weapons: Air Launched , Cheongeom is 150 mm in diameter and weighs 35 kg. The ATGM has four major subsections including a seeker, propulsion, control mechanism, and a battery and optical fibre cable at the rear. It has two mid-body nozzles for thrust control.

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