A South Korean Cheolmae-2 air defense systems, also know as Cheongung or KS-SAM, accidentally fired a surface-to-air missile during a routine maintenance check, a country’s Air Force official said.
The incident happened on Monday, at around 10:38 a.m., “near an Air Force base in Chuncheon, 85 kilometers northeast of Seoul”, the official said.
“There are no human or property damages yet,” said in a statement. “We have formed a task force to identify the cause of the explosion.”
Cheolmae-2 is a medium-range surface-to-air guided missile that can respond effectively to mid/high altitude aerial threats and developed by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD).
The new air defense system designed to replace ageing Hawk surface-to-air missile system. In comparison with Hawk, the existing flagship air defense guided weapon, Cheolmae-2 is more suited for electronic warfare and shows higher accuracy. Preparation time is short and its single radar can attack multiple targets at once, requiring only a small number of people for operation.
Cheolmae-2 guided missile is designed to target aircraft or missile at an altitude of about 24 miles (40 km). According to Yonhap, two Cheongung missiles flew around 24 miles and hit a mock target accurately in its first live-fire mission in November 2017.
The new defense system is manufacturing by the LIG Nex1 local defense contractor.