22 Juni 2009

S. Korea Firm Develops Aircraft Identification System

22 Juni 2009
KP-SAM Shin Gung (God's Bow) with the electronic device (photo : Militaryphotos)

SEOUL - LIG Nex1, a leading defense firm in South Korea, has developed an indigenous identification, friend or foe (IFF) system for its "Shingung" portable ground-to-air weapons, the company announced June 21.

The four-year joint development with the state-run Agency for Defense Development was completed in May following successful test trials both by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration and the Army, LIG Nex1 said in a news release.

About 5 billion won ($3.9 million) was spent to develop the IFF, an electronic system that can determine the intent of an aircraft with the speed of the fastest computer, it said.

Company officials expect the sophisticated identification system will not only greatly upgrade the country's air defense capability, but also have the potential of defense exports amounting to 100 billion won ($79 million) in the coming years.

"The South Korean military have had to use IFF systems built by U.S., French and other foreign defense firms" in the past, said Kim Soo-hong, an executive director of LIG Nex 1. "We're planning to further develop the IFF system enough to be fitted with other similar weapons systems, not just the Shingung anti-aircraft missile."

The Shingung is a shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile capable of hitting targets as high as 3.5 kilometers with a speed of Mach 2.0. It has a distance range of 7 kilometers.

Established in 1976 as Glodstar Precision, LIG Nex1 develops and manufactures a wide range of defense systems, such as precision-guided missiles, underwater systems, radar, fire-control systems, communications, electronic warfare and avionics.

Major products include the "Hyeonmoo" medium-range ground-to-ground missile with a range of 180 kilometers; the "Haeseong" cruise missile with a range of 150 kilometers; and the "Cheonma" self-propelled surface-to-air missile system, also known as K-SAM, with an effective range of 10 kilometers.

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