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Saudi Arabia Nears Final Stage in Procuring KM-SAM II (Korean Patriot)

Among the South Korean defense systems that have drawn the attention of Saudi Arabia is the "Cheongung II (KM-SAM Block II)" air defense system, also known as the "Korea Patriot," developed by the company LIG Nex1.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Saudi Arabia is reported to be in the “final stages” of negotiations with South Korea to purchase a significant quantity of weapons from the East Asian country, which emerged as the world’s fourth-largest arms exporter last year.

During a media briefing in Saudi Arabia, South Korea’s Deputy Director of National Security, Kim Tae-hyo, stated that the final-stage discussions reflect the importance of defense relations between the two countries.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeon recently visited Saudi Arabia, where he met with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Among the South Korean defense systems of interest to Saudi Arabia is the “Cheongung II (KM-SAM Block II)” air defense system, also known as the “Korea Patriot,” developed by the company LIG Nex1.

Riyadh has shown significant interest in this air defense system to defend the country against ballistic missile attacks from the armed Houthi group in Yemen.


It is likely to follow the footsteps of its neighboring country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in choosing this East Asian-made air defense system to safeguard its airspace.

Last year, the South Korean company signed a contract worth $3.5 billion with the UAE government to supply the KM-SAM Block II medium-range air defense system, with deliveries scheduled to begin this year and continue until 2027.

Senior South Korean government officials and LIG Nex1 have high confidence that they will persuade Saudi Arabia to purchase the KM-SAM Block II system, designed to shoot down aircraft and ballistic missiles, either this year or the next.

The KM-SAM Block II system, which forms the basis of the Korea Air and Missile Defense System (KAMD), can target objects up to 70km away with an accuracy rate of 80 to 95 percent.

The KM-SAM Block 1 system, designed to shoot down only aircraft, entered service in the South Korean military in 2015.


KM-SAM air defence system was also offered to Malaysia to fulfill its need for a Medium Range Air Defence System (MERAD)


LIG Nex1 is also reportedly interested in offering the KM-SAM Block 1 system to the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), which is seeking the MERAD (Medium Range Air Defense System).

An interesting feature of the KM-SAM medium-range air defense system is that it is the only MERAD system that incorporates technology from both Western and Russian origins.

The KM-SAM system, also known as “Cheongung” in Korea, is South Korea’s medium-range air defense system developed by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) with technical assistance from the renowned Russian defense firm Almaz-Antey, known for its development of the S-300, S-400, and the latest S-500 air defense systems.

 The standard composition of the KM-SAM system includes a Fire Control Centre (FCC), a Multifunction Radar (MFR), and several Transporter Erector Launchers (TEL) capable of carrying up to eight guided missiles.

 The 3D Multifunction Passive Electronically Scanned Array (PESA) X-Band radar of the KM-SAM system can detect targets up to 100km away and track up to 40 targets simultaneously. — DSA



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