Poland Received 18 New Chunmoo MLRS Launchers From South Korea

As part of an expanded defense partnership between South Korea and Poland, Hanwha Aerospace has recently delivered 18 K239Chunmoo launchers to the Polish Armed Forces. This initial batch is part of a larger contract signed with the Polish Armament Agency in November 2022, which includes the delivery of 218 K239 Chunmoo multiple rocket launcher systems (MLRS), purchased under the Homar-K artillery program. The contract, valued at $3.5 billion, also includes the supply of “several thousand” precision munitions, featuring 239mm missiles with a range of 80 km and tactical ballistic missiles capable of reaching up to 290 km.

The South Korean firm is working closely with the Polish defense industry to integrate these systems. Assembly of the first launchers for Poland began last summer at Hanwha Aerospace’s facilities in Korea, where they were mounted on specially provided armored chassis, the Jelcz P882.57 TS T45 K-MLRS 8×8. The first Polish chassis arrived in May 2023, and the integrated launchers, equipped with the Topaz fire control and Fonet communication systems developed by the WB group, were delivered to Poland in the latter half of August 2023.

Furthermore, the Polish army’s MLRS K239 Chunmoo units will be equipped with a Polish command and control (C2) system, developed by the Polish WB group. This system includes the TOPAZ integrated combat management system, the FONET digital communication platform, and radio communication sets.

The next phase of this collaboration sees the assembly of launcher modules supplied by Korea carried out by Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) in Poland. This process involves not only the integration of the modules onto the Jelcz chassis but also the installation of the Topaz and Fonet systems.

Another aspect of the contract includes adapting the K239 Chunmoo launchers for the use of 122 mm caliber rockets, currently used in Langusta launchers. The development work for the launcher container for these rockets will be conducted by Military Aviation Works No. 2 (WZL-2) and integrated with the launchers, enabling the use of 122 mm rockets produced by Mesko. These launchers will also be equipped with the fire control and communication systems provided by the WB group.

Robert Szelenbaum, a senior official at Hanwha Aerospace Europe based in Warsaw, confirmed that the Polish Armed Forces have already received the 18 K239 Chunmoo launchers. Thirty-six additional systems are expected by the end of 2024. The Homar-K acquisition process began on October 19, 2022, when the Armament Agency – State Treasury signed a framework agreement with Hanwha Aerospace for the purchase of 288 K239 Chunmoo multiple rocket launcher systems under the Homar program, and an executive contract for 218 of these systems was concluded on November 4, 2022. The contract, worth a net $3.55 billion, also includes logistical and training packages, ammunition stocks comprising several thousand guided missiles of 80 km (239 mm CGR-080) and 290 km (600 mm Ure-II / KTSSM Block-II), as well as technical support from the manufacturer. The delivery of all ordered launchers is scheduled to be completed by 2027.

The K239 Chunmoo K-MLRS is a versatile multiple-launch rocket system designed to provide formidable firepower on the battlefield. Equipped with two launch pods capable of firing a variety of rockets, including 130mm, 227mm, and 239mm variants, it offers flexibility in engaging different types of targets. These rockets can be fitted with various warhead types, such as high-explosive fragmentation, incendiary, smoke, illumination, and cargo warheads, enhancing their effectiveness against a wide range of threats. Additionally, the Chunmoo can utilize GPS/INS-guided munitions and the Korea Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile (KTSSM) for precision strikes at long ranges, bolstering its capability to engage targets beyond the reach of enemy defenses.

Mounted on an 8×8 truck chassis, the Chunmoo ensures mobility and survivability on the battlefield. With a powerful diesel engine generating 400 horsepower, it can achieve a maximum road speed of 90 km/h and traverse various terrains with ease. The armored crew cab protects against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters, ensuring the safety of the three-person crew. Equipped with a computerized fire control system and Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) for improved performance on different surfaces, the Chunmoo K-MLRS offers a potent combination of firepower, mobility, and protection for military operations.

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