Hyunmoo-3 is a new cruise missile that is to be fielded with the military of Republic of Korea. It is designed by Agency for Defense Development (ADD). The name Hyunmoo comes from a mythical beast described as the "Guardian of the Northern Sky".
Hyunmoo-3 bears no resemblance to the previous Hyunmoo SSM, which were improved versions of Nike Hercules surface-to-air missiles that were converted into short-range high-speed surface-to-surface ballistic missiles in response to North Korea's Scud-B and Nodong-1 missile threats. Instead, the new missile's designs are strikingly similar to the United States Tomahawk cruise missile and also the Babur cruise missile of the Pakistan military.
Hyunmoo-3A, which was nicknamed "Eagle-1" during the testing, has a range of 500 km, while Hyunmoo-3B, nicknamed "Eagle-2", has a range of 1,000 km. Hyunmoo-3C, or "Eagle-3", will be capable of striking its target up to 1,500 km away. This is a significant improvement from Hyunmoo I which had a range of 180 km and Hyunmoo-2, which only has a range of 300 km, both of which were ballistic and not cruise missiles.
It is powered by a turbofan engine, much like other subsonic cruise missiles of its type, and has a payload of up to 500 kilograms. The guidance systems consist of Inertial Guidance System and Global Positioning System.
The maximum payload of the missile is rated at 500 kilograms of conventional explosive.
King Sejong the Great class destroyers and KSS-III class submarines will be equipped with these missiles inside their Vertical Launching System (K-VLS).
South Korea is barred from producing a non-indigenous ballistic missile that is above a certain payload and range limit in accordance to Missile Technology Control Regime. Therefore, a heavy emphasis was put on for developing long-range cruise missiles by the South Korean government, as there is no restriction of payload amount and range limit set for them. With the introduction of Hyunmoo-III, which also has some advanced systems sometimes found on ICBMs, the Republic of Korea Army created the Missile Command in order to efficiently manage these missiles.