*Sources: DTN News / Defense Media
(NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - June 23, 2009: 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 New Bow (Shingung, Shin-Gung or Shin-Kung, possibly God's Bow or Divine Bow) is a shoulder-launched missile targeting helicopters, or low-flying fighter and transport aircraft. The KP-SAM [Janes claimes was recently redesignated as the NEX1 Future Chiron (Singung), but no one else seems to agree], is a two-man, fire and forget system that is fired in the same way as the Mistral, which is mounted on a tripod. The 10 kilogram missile features an integral Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, full night and adverse weather capabilities, and a two-color infrared seeker to aid in negating countermeasures. It has a 7 km maximum target range and flies at a maximum altitude of 3.5 km and maximum speed of Mach 2.1. The Singung is designed to automatically explode against a target flying within a radius of 1.5 m, shattering into hundreds of pieces while shooting down a target. It is mainly intended to bring down enemy aircraft and helicopter that infiltrate at low altitude. It boasts more than 90 percent-plus hit-ratio accuracy and comes at a unit price of W180 million. Only four countries including the United States, Russia and France, have that kind of portable surface-to-air missile systems. According to the Defense Ministry, the missile is lighter and more accurate than the Stinger missile of the U.S., Russia’s Igla and France’s Mistral. The KP-SAM program was originally aimed at developing a new man-portable SAM for the protection of troops in the foreword area. However, by 2003 the delivery of the Igla SAMs from Russia in payment for Russian debts to Korea appear to have solved the problem. The primary difference between the Russian Igla system and the KP-SAM is the IFF system mounted forward of the launcher. Development of the Chiron (Singung) man-portable surface-to-air missiles system (MANPADS SAM) is believed to have commenced during 1995 when the system was then known as the KP-SAM. The portable anti-aircraft missile Singung was developed by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD)over eight years starting in 1995 with a W70 billion [$71 million] budget. In late 2005 it entered service with the South Korean Army, after being in development for nearly 8 years. The South Korean Army had ordered some 2000 units to be delivered by LG Innotek Co. Ltd. Series production was expected to commence during 2004, with deployment and IOC during the same year, however, extended trials meant that the system was not ready for series production and deployment before September 2005. Trials during the research and development phase were carried out using both fixed and rotary wing targets. The program was originally aimed at developing a new man-portable SAM for the protection of troops in the foreword area. The seeker technology was Russian, from the Leningrad Optical Mechanical Association (LOMO) but that the control section, warhead and motor were of a South Korean design. 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.