South Korea Navy destroyer Gang Gam-chan succesfully fires SM-2 missile for first time


According to information published by the Korean MoD on December 5, 2023, the South Korean Navy has achieved a significant milestone by successfully conducting its first domestic live-firing test of the SM-2 air defense missile.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Korean Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin-class destroyer Gang Gam-chan firing SM-2 missile. (Picture source: ROKN)


On the 1st december in the East Sea, the 4400-ton class destroyer (DDH-II) Gang Gam-chan successfully engaged and destroyed a high-speed approaching simulated enemy aircraft using the SM-2 missile, demonstrating a robust response capability to potential threats.

During the exercise, the destroyer launched the SM-2 at an unmanned aerial target approaching from a random direction and time, successfully hitting the target with precision.

Previously, due to the lack of domestic mid-to-long-range naval missile testing ranges and systems, the Navy had conducted SM-2 live-firing drills in conjunction with overseas exercises like the RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) training.

However, with the recent operationalization of the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) Samcheok Marine Research Center and the establishment of a scientific testing system for naval guided weapons by the Navy and ADD, training in South Korea has become feasible. This exercise utilized the system, allowing the evaluation of the SM-2's flight trajectory and hit accuracy through 3D graphics.

About the destroyer

The ROKS Gang Gam-chan (DDH-979) is a naval vessel with a standard displacement of 4,800 tons, increasing to 5,000 tons when fully loaded. It has a length of 150 meters and a beam of 17 meters. The ship's propulsion system is a combination of diesel and gas, allowing it to reach speeds of up to 30 knots. It can accommodate a crew of 200.

In terms of armaments, the destroyer is equipped with a 5"/54 caliber Mark 45 gun and a Goalkeeper CIWS for defense. It features a 56-cell Vertical Launching System, 21 RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles, 8 RGM-84 Harpoon missiles, and 2 triple K745 Blue Shark Torpedoes.