The modern North Korean Army maintains a considerable stash of artillery systems - both towed and self-propelled. Part of this inventory includes self-propelled rocket-projecting vehicles - or Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs) - with ever-increasing range and ballistic capabilities. Among the group available to the Army service is the "KN-09". Believed to have been designed and developed around 2014 or earlier, the KN-09 was introduced for service in 2016. It is thought to be based / influenced on the Soviet-Russian BM-30 "Smerch" series of vehicles (detailed elsewhere on this site).
At the heart of the KN-09 system is an eight-tube launcher component fielding 300mm (12") battlefield surface-to-surface rockets. These rockets have a suspected maximum range between 100 and 200 kilometers and can mount various warheads (including chemical, incendiary and mines) beyond the typical HE-FRAG (High-Explosive, FRAGmentation) type. The eight rockets arrive as two four-shot units and can be reloaded as an entire four-shot pod allowing the system to fire subsequent rocket loads in short order. Setup time is minimal as is reloading the ammunition. Reloads are dependent on accompanying resupply vehicles.
The launcher is fitted over the rear of the KN-09 series military truck which is driven by a diesel-fueled engine unit powering the three-axled, six-wheeled arrangement. The forward cab is completely enclosed to protect the operators. The launcher component is trainable to allow the weapon to engage at various angles without having to turn the entire vehicle to face the direction of fire.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Fire Support / Assault / Breaching
Support allied forces through direct / in-direct fire, assault forward positions, and / or breach fortified areas of the battlefield.
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.
39.4 ft 12 m
9.8 ft 3 m
9.8 ft 3 m
87,083 lb 39,500 kg
43.5 tons MEDIUM
(Showcased structural values pertain to the KN-09 MRLS production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
1 x V-12 diesel-fueled engine developing 500 horsepower (estimated).
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