Ground Warfare

Poland to Buy Hundreds of South Korean K239 Chunmoo Multiple Rocket Launcher System

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Poland to Buy Hundreds of South Korean K239 Chunmoo Multiple Rocket Launcher System

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K239 Chunmoo K-MLRS Multiple rocket launcher
K239 Chunmoo K-MLRS Multiple rocket launcher

Poland has completed negotiations with South Korea on the purchase of K239 Chunmoo multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) developed by Hawnha Defense. The Polish Armed Forces would receive almost 300 systems as such, while the Polish defence industry would receive the transfer of technology agreements, that there is a growing probability Poland would purchase the South Korean system. The cooperation could include rockets manufacturing, integration of the South Koreanlaunchers with Polish-developed Jelcz vehicles and Topaz combat manage systems. Poland will use the Chunmoo together with the US-built HIMARS launchers already in service.

K239 Chunmoo K-MLRS Multiple rocket launcher
K239 Chunmoo K239 Chunmoo Multiple Rocket Launcher System

Poland is also procuring major quantities of munitions, including guided rockets (with a range of 80 km), as well as tactical ballistic missiles (a range of 300 km). Poland is buying South Korean multiple launch rocket system after the two countries formalized an official agreement for Poland’s purchase of K2 Black Panther main battle tanks and K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers in deals worth around $5.7 billion. That means that the acquisition would be reminiscent of K2 MBTs, or K9 howitzers purchase. The K239 Chunmoo, as well as the K9 Thunder, are both manufactured by south korean defense company Hanwha Defense.

K239 Chunmoo K-MLRS Multiple rocket launcher
K239 Chunmoo K239 Chunmoo Multiple Rocket Launcher System

The K239 Chunmoo is a rocket artillery system developed in 2013 to replace the aging K136 Kooryong of the South Korean military. The K239 Chunmoo is a self-propelled multiple rocket launcher (MRL) capable of firing several different guided or unguided artillery rockets.The K239 is capable of launching K33 131 mm rockets, except for 130 mm rockets such as the K30, K37 and K38 used in the existing K136 Kooryong rocket artillery system. The launch vehicle is based on a Doosan DST (now Hanwha Defense) K239L 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.

K239 Chunmoo K-MLRS Multiple rocket launcher
K239 Chunmoo K239 Chunmoo Multiple Rocket Launcher System

The launcher carries two launch pods that can hold four types of rockets/missiles:

  • 20 K33 131 mm unguided rockets, previously used on the K136 Kooryong, with a range of 36 km (22 mi) (40 total).
  • Six KM26A2 230 mm rockets modified based on the M26 227 mm unguided DPICM rocket used in M270 MLRS vehicles operated by the South Korean Army, with a range of 45 km (28 mi) (12 total).
  • Six 239 mm guided rockets with unitary high-explosive (HE) warheads or hundreds of cluster bombs designed for the K239 Chunmoo with a range of 80 km (50 mi) (12 total).
  • Four KTSSM (Korean Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile) can be launched almost simultaneously from a fixed launch pad and they can travel 120 km (75 mi).

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