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Hanwha Defense K239 (Chunmoo)

8x8 Wheeled Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

South Korea | 2015

"The K239 is the successor to the late-Cold War era K136 series of MLRS vehicles utilized by the armed forces of South Korea."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the K239 8x8 Wheeled Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS).
1 x Hyundai Doosan Infracore DC11K 6-cylinder air-cooled diesel-fueled engine of 450 horsepower driving conventional 8x8 all-wheel arrangement.
Installed Power
50 mph
80 kph
Road Speed
280 miles
450 km
The physical qualities of the K239 8x8 Wheeled Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS).
29.5 ft
9 meters
O/A Length
9.5 ft
2.9 meters
O/A Width
10.8 ft
3.3 meters
O/A Height
68,343 lb
31,000 kg | 34.2 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Hanwha Defense K239 (Chunmoo) 8x8 Wheeled Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS).
Variable depending on battlefield rocket type / caliber. 131mm up to 239mm supported through two-pod launcher unit seated over the rear of the vehicle.
Dependent upon resupply vehicle / facilities.
Notable series variants as part of the Hanwha Defense K239 (Chunmoo) family line.
K239 ("Chunmoo") - Base Series Designation.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/27/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The Hanwha Defense K239 "Chunmoo" is the successor to the K136 "Kooryong" Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) system fielded by the modern Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) and detailed elsewhere on MilitaryFactory.com. While the original offering was a Cold War-era development heavily influenced by the line of successful Soviet "Katyusha" rocket-projecting systems (operated in number by neighboring North Korea, a potential regional enemy), the K239 takes a more modern approach while retaining the same qualities of mating a proven military truck with a lethal rocket-launching component.

The K239 Is comparable to the American HIMARS and M270 rocket-launching systems - both detailed elsewhere in the Military Factory.

After design work (by the Agency for Defense Development) spanning from 2009 to 2013, the K239 began formal operational service with South Korean forces in 2015 with over 215 units built to date (2022). Quantitative serial production of the units has been ongoing since 2014 with Doosan DST handling the truck component and Hanwha responsible for the rocket launchers.

The 31-ton vehicle has a length of 29.5 feet with a beam of 9.5 feet and height of 10.9 feet. It is operated by a crew of three and powered by a Hyundai Doosan "Infracore" DC11K 6-cylinder air-cooled diesel engine. This gives it a typical road speed of 50 miles-per-hour with an operational range out to 280 miles. Armor protection is up to STANAG 4569 Level 2 allowing it to be fielded somewhat close to contested frontlines.

The general configuration of the vehicle is conventional with a cab-over design at front and the rocket component seated over the rear. Instead of the 6x6 wheeled arrangement seen in the earlier K136, the K239 makes use of an 8x8 wheeled arrangement for improved weight displacement and cross-country support. The launcher component can traverse to face a direction independent of the vehicle's facing, adding an inherent tactical capability to the design.

In-the-field, the MLRS is used as an in-direct fire support vehicle, capable of targeting complete areas and saturating them with rocket artillery. While naturally lethal, such battlefield solutions add a psychological value not seen in other weapons.

The K239 supports a 131mm (K33 series) battlefield rocket and houses these in a pair of compartments seated side-by-side in the launcher unit. There are three distinct rocket forms supported - 20 x 131mm (K33) unguided area saturation rockets, 6x 230mm unguided Dul-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) rocket, and 6 x 239mm cluster (bomblet-dispersing) rockets: generally the larger the caliber the greater the potency but fewer rockets can be housed. With its two-pod approach, the launcher unit can technically house two different rocket designs in-the-field. Launching is either from the operating cab itself or through remote means.

The vehicle can loose up to six 239mm caliber rockets every 30 seconds and reloading of the entire container can be accomplished in under ten minutes. As many as eighteen launch vehicles can be assigned to a K200A1 Command Vehicle for maximum effectiveness.

Beyond its fielding by the forces of South Korea, the design has been taken on in number by the United Arab Emirates (UAE, twelve units). Poland has committed to acquiring some 288 of the type while Norway remains a potential future operator, having signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kongsberg Gruppen to bring the K239 to Scandinavia.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Hanwha Defense K239 (Chunmoo). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 225 Units

Contractor(s): Hanwha Defense (rocket component) / Doosan DST (vehicle component) - South Korea
National flag of Norway National flag of Poland National flag of South Korea National flag of the United Arab Emirates

[ Norway (signed); Poland (ordered); South Korea; United Arab Emirates ]
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Image of the Hanwha Defense K239 (Chunmoo)
Image from the South Korean Ministry of Defense; Public Release.

Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Hanwha Defense K239 (Chunmoo).
Going Further...
The Hanwha Defense K239 (Chunmoo) 8x8 Wheeled Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) appears in the following collections:
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