Armed Forces of Ukraine expect to purchase K239 Chunmoo missile launchers from South Korea

Instead of American HIMARS missile systems, Kyiv can buy K239 Chunmoo systems from Seoul. Currently, South Korea has 40 free K239 Chunmoo MLRS, which theoretically allows them to be sold to Ukraine.

It is known that Ukraine is interested in obtaining such weapons, completely similar to the American HIMARS systems; however, at the moment, Seoul has many systems that can be transferred to Ukraine.

Currently, there is no information that Kyiv and Seoul are negotiating the purchase of K239 Chunmoo systems by Ukraine. However, considering the funds allocated to Ukraine, Kyiv can purchase a hundred K239 Chunmoo systems with delivery before 2025.

The likelihood that Ukraine will also receive tactical-type missiles from Seoul is unlikely. However, given the fact that South Korea itself produces the missiles for these systems, there is a fairly high probability that Kyiv will try to reach agreements with Seoul since it is known that South Korea has already been seen supplying weapons, equipment, and ammunition to the Ukrainian Army.

The Chunmoo, also called K239 K-MLRS, is a multi-caliber launch rocket system designed and manufactured by the South Korean Company Hanwha Corporation.

It is a new generation of artillery weapons able to fire different calibers of rockets. The South Korean government awarded a development contract to Hanwha in 2009, and the development of the Chunmoo was completed in 2013.

It entered into service with the South Korean Army (ROK) in 2014. The MLRS is now fielded with the ROK Army and Marine Corps.

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.

The primary missions of MLRS include the suppression, neutralization, and destruction of threat fire support and forward area air defense targets.

More than 100 units have been ordered to replace the old MLRS K136 Kooryong that was deployed in 1986. It has a fast reaction time and can launch its first rockets in less than a few minutes.

Each Chunmoo rocket launcher vehicle is associated with its Ammunition Support Vehicle(ASV) using the same truck chassis. The vehicle can carry four pods of rockets.

On August 27, 2022, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced that Poland could acquire South Korean K239 Chunmoo rocket launcher systems.

On October 20, 2022, the South Korean company Hanwha Defense officially confirmed that Hanwha Defense and Poland entered into a Framework Contract for the delivery of 288 K239 Chunmoo Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems (MRLS).

On November 4, 2022, the Polish Ministry of Defense approved an agreement with South Korea to purchase 218 Chunmoo MLRS rocket launchers. On November 9, 2022, the Polish Ministry of Defense signed an agreement with the local defense industry to integrate the Chunmoo rocket launcher pod into the Polish Jelcz truck chassis.

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