The K239 Chunmoo K-MLRS is a South Korean GPS-guided precision rocket artillery system. Development commenced in 2009. Rockets were developed by Hanwha Corporation and the 4 axle launcher vehicle was developed by Hanwha Defense Systems (formerly Doosan DST). South Korean MoD plans to order a first batch of 58 Chunmoo units to replace the US M270 MLRS. In the near future it might replace the older K136 Kooryong. It enters in service with the South Korean army (ROK) in 2014 and now fielded with the ROK Army and Marine Corps. In concept the Chunmoo is similar to the US M270 MLRS artillery rocket system.
It is a new generation of artillery weapon able to fire different calibers of rockets. One vehicle can fit 130 mm and 239 mm rockets at once, can also fire 227 mm rockets for M270 MLRS compatibility, to replace K136. The Chunmoo provides the Army with a non-nuclear, all-weather, indirect, area fire weapon system to strike counter-fire, air defense, armored formations, and other high-payoff targets at all depths of the tactical battlefield. Primary missions of MLRS include the suppression, neutralization, and destruction of threat fire support and forward area air defense targets. The 239mm guided rocket has a range of 160 km and is used mainly as a “bunker buster”.
North Korea has recently developed new multiple rocket launcher which was tested in 2013. Until now, the North was believed to have three kinds of multiple rocket launchers — 107mm, 122mm and 240mm with a maximum range of about 60km. If deployed, the new launchers could threaten the entire Seoul metropolitan area, which is less than 50km from the border, and reach U.S. bases in Gyeonggi Province. In response to the growing missile and rocket threat from the North, South Korea has developed the new 230mm multiple rocket launch system (K-MLRS) to replace its old 130mm K136 Kooryong MLRS fleet with the goal of completing the upgrade
The Chunmoo K-MLRS is based on an 8×8 truck chassis also manufactured by the Company Hanwha. The truck has an armored cab, which provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. A full salvo can be launched directly from the cab, or remotely from the vehicle. It has a fast reaction time and can launch first rockets in less than a few minutes. Each Chunmoo rockets launcher vehicle is associated with its Ammunition Support Vehicle(ASV) using the same truck chassis. The vehicle can carried four pods of rockets. The Chunmoo K-MLRS is based on 8×8 military truck chassis powered by a Diesel engine developing 400 hp. It can run at a maximum road speed of 90 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 800 km. It can climb a gradient of 60% and side slope of 30%. It can cross a trench of 1.4m and water obstacle of 1.2m deep.