Chunmoo K239 multiple launch rocket systems (MRLS)
Chunmoo K239 multiple launch rocket systems (MRLS)

United Arab Emirates Army Received First Batch South-Korean Chunmoo K239 MRLS

The United Arab Emirates Army received at least one shipment of eight Chunmoo K239 multiple launch rocket systems (MRLS). United Arab Emirates acquisition of the Chunmoo a number of MRLS was confirmed when the Emirati news agency launched a photograph displaying exams of acquired artillery programs from the Republic of Korea (South Korea). The UAE has received at least one shipment of eight Chunmoo multiple launch rocket systems, which can fire three types of munitions: 130mm non-guided rockets, 227mm non-guided rockets and 239mm guided rockets.

The K239 Chunmoo, also called the K-MLRS (Korean Multiple Launch Rocket System), is a South Korean rocket artillery system. The launch vehicle is based on a Hanwha 8×8 truck chassis with an armored cab that protects its 3-man crew from small arms fire and artillery shell splinters as well as providing NBC protection. Each Chunmoo launcher is paired with an Ammunition Support Vehicle (ASV) using the same truck chassis carrying four reload pods. An ROK Army Chunmoo battery consists in 18 vehicles and uses the K200A1 as a command vehicle.

The K239 is a self-propelled multiple rocket launcher (MRL) capable of firing several different guided or unguided artillery rockets. The launcher carries two launch pods that can hold three types of rockets: 20 130 mm unguided rockets, previously used on the K136 Kooryong, with a range of 36 km (22 mi) (40 total); six 227 mm unguided rockets with a range of 45 km (28 mi) (12 total); and six 239 mm guided rockets designed for the system with a range of 80 km (50 mi) (some sources claim 160 km (99 mi), 12 total).

The 239 mm rockets are 3.96 m (13.0 ft) long and GPS/INS guided with two modes of operation, impact bursting for use against personnel and delay bursting to destroy bunkers; it was a requirement of the ROK Army for the guided rocket to have a penetrator warhead to be used as a “bunker buster” solution against the large number of bunkers along the DMZ. Two different types of rocket pods can be loaded at once and the modular containers can be reloaded quickly.