Chunmoo Multiple Launch Rocket System of South Korea
Chunmoo Multiple Launch Rocket System of South Korea. Rockets were developed by Hanwha Corporation and the launcher vehicle was developed by Doosan DST.
The Chunmoo is a new South Korean artillery rocket system, also known as K-MLRS. Development commenced in 2009. Rockets were developed by Hanwha Corporation and the launcher vehicle was developed by 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.
In concept the Chunmoo is similar to the US M270 MLRS artillery rocket system. Republic of Korea Army currently operates a total of 58 M270 systems. However the new Chunmoo is based on wheeled chassis rather than tracked. The Chunmoo also lacks launching rails. Rockets are launched from interchangeable modular containers. Rockets are factory fitted and sealed in containers and can be stored without any maintenance for a number of years. Vehicle carries two of these containers.
The Chunmoo is a multi-caliber rocket system. These rockets can be fired from the same platform, but have different ranges. The system will use 130 mm, 227 mm and 230 mm rockets. A standard 130 mm rocket is 2.4 m long and weights 55 kg. It has a maximum range of 23 km. Extended-range rockets can reach 36 km. Other sources claim that newly developed rockets have a maximum range is 80 km.
These artillery rockets are used by the current K136 Kooryong. A standard 227 mm rocket is 3.96 m long and weights 296 kg. It has a maximum range of 45 km. These rockets are used by US M270 MLRS and M142 HIMARS. A standard 230 mm rocket is 3.96 m long. It has a maximum range of 80 km. Other sources claim that these rockets have a range of 160 km. Both guided and unguided rockets are available. Warheads include HE-FRAG, incendiary, smoke, illumination, cargo warheads with anti-tank or pre-fragmented anti-personnel submunitions.
Furthermore vehicle can carry a combination of any two containers. The main role of the Chunmoo is to suppress North Korean artillery systems in case of a military conflict. It is worth noting, that North Korea has an enormous artillery force. The Chunmoo can also destroy fortifications, bridges and runways. One launcher with a full salvo covers an area the size of three football fields.
Vehicle has an armored cab, which provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. This artillery rocket system has a fast reaction time and can launch its rockets within several minutes from travelling. A full salvo can be launched directly from the cab, or remotely from the vehicle.
Wheeled vehicles are cheaper to obtain, to operate and to maintain. Also it can briefly self-deploy over long distances. Due to these reasons a wheeled chassis was selected. However wheeled vehicles lack cross-country mobility of tracked machines.
Each Chunmoo launcher vehicle is planned to be escorted by associated transport vehicle, which carries two sets of reload rockets and is fitted with a crane. Transport vehicle is planned to be based on a similar 8×8 high-mobility vehicle. The Chunmoo launcher has an integrated crane. Reloading is made by the crew within 10 minutes.