Haeseong I

The Haeseong I is a subsonic, antiship cruise missile. It is the first variant developed within South Korea’s Haeseong cruise missile series, and has a range of 150 km (surface-launched) or 250 km (air-launched). It entered service in 2005.

Haeseong I at a Glance

Originated from: South Korea
Possessed by: South Korea
Alternative names: SSM-700K, C-Star, Starfish
Class: Subsonic, antiship cruise missile (ASCM)
Basing: Ground-, ship-, and air-launched
Length: 5.46 m
Diameter: 0.34 m
Launch weight: 718 kg
Payload: Single warhead, 220 kg
Warhead: High explosive (HE), semi-armor piercing (SAP)
Propulsion: Turbojet engine
Range: 150 or 250 km
Speed: 290 m/s
Status: Operational
In service: 2005-present

Haeseong I Development

South Korea (ROK) began development of the Haeseong I in 1996. The government publicly acknowledged development two years later, in November 1998.1 The program aimed to provide ROK the ability to counter North Korea’s (DPRK) large number of small- to medium-sized naval vessels without spending substantial funds on foreign antiship cruise missile (ASCM) systems. South Korea had previously developed an ASCM named ‘Hae Ryong’ for similar purposes; however, the program was terminated due to technical issues and U.S. political pressure.2

The Haeseong I (translation: ‘Sea Star’) conducted its first test flight in 2001, with unclear results. The missile was successfully test fired with a live warhead for the first time on August 21, 2003, and completed development later that year.3 The missile program entered full production in 2005. It was developed by the state-run Agency for Defense Development and manufactured by LIG Nex1, a South Korean defense firm.4 Haeseong I promoters frequently compare its capabilities with the U.S. RGM/AGM-84 Harpoon. Its manufacturer, for example, asserts that “Haeseong is recognized to be superior to the US-made Harpoon missile.”5

Haeseong I Specifications

The Haeseong I has a length of 5.46 m, a body diameter of 0.34 m, and a launch weight of 718 kg.6 The missile has a range of 150 km (surface-launched) or 250 km (air-launched) while carrying a 220 kg payload.7 The Haeseong I uses GPS-aided inertial navigation system for mid-course guidance, active-radar for terminal homing, and a phased array active radar seeker.8 Propelled by a solid-fueled booster and an SS-760K turbojet engine, the missile has a maximum speed of 290 m/s.9

The missile is capable of evasive maneuvers (to counter defenses), low altitude sea-skimming flight (to avoid detection), inclined attack (to counter defenses), and repeated attack (in case of initial miss).10

Haeseong I Service History

The Haeseong I entered service in 2005.11 It is carried onboard the Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyer (KDX-I), the Chungmugong Yi Sun-shin-class destroyer (KDX-II), and the Aegis-equipped Sejong the Great-class destroyer (KDX-III).12 The missile is also fitted to Incheon-class frigates (FFX-I) and Patroller Killer Guided (PKG)-class vessels.13

The air-launched version is fitted to the F-16K Fighting Falcon; the sub-launched variant equips the Chang Bogo- (Type 209 or 1200) or KSS-2-class boats; and the ground-launched version is fired from road-mobile trucks.14

South Korea has tested the Haeseong I several times in recent years. The missile was successfully tested in a 2014 drill in the East Sea.15 During a May 2016 drill, however, a Haeseong I failed to reach its intended target. This failure – along with several others that year – worried South Korean lawmakers about their cruise missile capabilities and aging military equipment.16

On July 6, 2017, the ROK Navy launched a Haeseong I during joint ROK-N and ROK-AF live-fire drills. The test took place two days after North Korea test fired its Hwasong-14 ICBM.17

    1. “Haeseong (SSM-700K),” in IHS Jane’s Weapons: Naval 2016-2017, ed. David Ewing & Malcolm Fuller (United Kingdom: IHS, 2016), 86.
    2. Syed Ramsey, Chapter 3: Cruise Missiles in Tools of War: History of Weapons in Modern Times (Vij Books: India, May 2016), https://books.google.com/books?id=aUk5DAAAQBAJ&pg=PT222&lpg=PT222&dq=Hae+Ryong+missile&source=bl&ots=y46I6cIHTu&sig=AoZ5a92TaDswJEts0IQZ_kXgU5U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjDrKqk5frVAhWo5YMKHcrqDiYQ6AEIOzAD#v=onepage&q&f=false.
    3. “Hae Seong (ASM/SSM-700K),” in IHS Jane’s Weapons: Strategic 2015-2016, ed. James C. O’Halloran (United Kingdom: IHS, 2015), 168; Lee Tae-hoon, “Seoul develops supersonic cruise missile,” The Korea Times, September 26, 2011, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/09/113_95503.html.
    4. “ROK Navy KDX-I Destroyer & FFX-I Frigate in Harpoon and C-Star Missile Exercise,” Navy Recognition, July 12, 2017, http://navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2017/july-2017-navy-naval-forces-defense-industry-technology-maritime-security-global-news/5384-rok-navy-kdx-i-destroyer-ffx-i-frigate-in-harpoon-and-c-star-missile-exercise.html.
    5. LIG Nex1, “Ship-to-ship Guided Missile: C-Star,” 2015, https://www.lignex1.com/eng/product/product01_02.jsp.
    6. Kim Minseok and Bradley Perrett, “South Korea’s LIG Nex1 Land-Attack Missile Cleared For Service,” Aviation Week, May 8, 2017, http://aviationweek.com/defense/south-korea-s-lig-nex1-land-attack-missile-cleared-service?platform=hootsuite; Jane’s Weapons: Naval, 86-88.
    7. Jane’s Weapons: Strategic, 87.
    8. Ibid.
    9. Navy Recognition, “ROK Navy KDX-I Destroyer & FFX-I Frigate in Harpoon and C-Star Missile Exercise.”
    10. Agency for Defense Development, “Aircraft Missile Weapon System: Ship-to-Ship Guided Weapon (Starfish),” 2012, http://www.add.re.kr/.
    11. Naval Recognition, “ROK Navy KDX-I Destroyer & FFX-I Frigate in Harpoon and C-Star Missile Exercise.”
    12. Jane’s Weapons: Naval, 86.
    13. Navy Recognition, “ROK Navy KDX-I Destroyer & FFX-I Frigate in Harpoon and C-Star Missile Exercise;” and Jung Sung-ki, “Navy launches 2 more guided missile boats,” The Korea Times, July 30, 2010, http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/07/113_70537.html.
    14. Jane’s Weapons: Strategic, 168.
    15. “Navy conducts drill despite Japan’s protest,” The Korea Herald, June 20, 2014, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20140620000694&ACE_SEARCH=1.
    16. “Lawmakers question capability of military equipment,” The Korea Herald, September 25, 2016, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160925000241&ACE_SEARCH=1.
    17. “Korea’s military holds precision-strike drills,” The Korea Herald, July 6, 2017, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170706000618&ACE_SEARCH=1.