South Korea’s Hanwha Aerospace has delivered the first K239 Chunmoo Multiple Launch Rocket System (MRLS) to Poland, the Polish Armaments Agency announced on 21 August.
The Chunmoo MLRS is the first of an initial batch of three systems being assembled in Hanwha Aerospace’s Changwon facility based on Jelcz vehicles supplied by Poland, with the remaining two systems expected to undergo mobility and firing tests in South Korea until the end of August.
Three Jelcz vehicles earlier arrived in South Korea in early May for initial assembly and field tests, following which Chunmoo launch pods were integrated.
The first batch of 18 Chunmoo systems, including the first three systems assembled in South Korea, is expected to be delivered to the Polish Armed Forces by the end of December 2023.
The Armaments Agency added that the locally developed Topaz combat management system will be integrated to the Chunmoo MLRS and undergo final testing. The new platform will be designated Homar-K MRLS in Polish service.
Poland committed to acquiring up to 288 Chunmoo MLRS last year. The first executive contract worth US$3.55 billion provisioned for 218 systems and several thousand missiles with a maximum range of 290 km over the next three years, along with logistics and training support.
The remaining 200 MLRS programme will be assembled locally in Poland by Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW).
The second phase of the Homar-K programme will see the transfer of launcher production from South Korea to Poland and the establishment of a local facility to manufacture rockets with a range of 80 km. Negotiations are under way between Hanwha Aerospace and Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) to pursue joint development of more sophisticated and longer-ranged munitions.
Hanwha Aerospace earlier announced that the Chunmoo MLRS had been shipped from Masan port on 20 June and will be displayed at the International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO 2023 in Kielce, Poland, from 5 to 8 September.
Poland is also procuring 20 US-made Lockheed Martin M142 High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) under the US Foreign Military Sales programme. Deliveries of these systems commenced in May and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
by Jr Ng