Artillery: South Korea Builds A Better MLRS

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August 20, 2015: In early August South Korea put the first locally produced Chunmoo MLRS (multiple launch rocket system) into service. Chunmoo is an improved version of the American MLRS that South Korea has been using since 1998. Like the American rockets the Chunmoo ones can use GPS guidance. While the American MLRS uses a 25 ton tracked vehicle Chunmoo uses a 25 ton 8x8 truck. This makes Chunmoo faster on roads and easier to maintain.

Chunmoo is superior to anything North Korea has and designed to quickly destroy North Korean artillery in the first hours of another North Korean invasion. South Korea is buying 58 Chunmoo vehicles to complement the 54 American MLRS vehicles it already has and eventually replace the older American systems. South Korea has long manufactured the MLTS rockets locally under license. Both systems fire rockets from containers the rockets are shipped from the factory in.

Compared to the American MLRS Chunmoo has superior fire control and a more modern vehicle to carry and fire the rockets. Chunmoo uses three different size rockets (compared to two for the U.S. MLRS) with a max range of 80 kilometers or more. Chunmoo can carry 36 130mm rockets weighing 55 kg (121 pounds) each with a range of 23 kilometers and a 20 kg warhead (or 36 in an extended version with a smaller warhead). Also available is a container with twelve 227mm rockets weighing 295 kg (649 pounds) each with a range of 45 kilometers and a 120 kg warhead. This is interchangeable with the American MLRS rocket. There is also a container with a larger diameter rocket with a range of 160 kilometers or more. Not a lot of details available on this rocket yet. Unlike the United States South Korea still uses a lot of unguided rockets while the Americans have gone over to all GPS/INS guided rockets.

 

 


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