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Poland to Buy K239 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems From South Korea

Poland will acquire hundreds of K239 Chunmoo multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) from South Korea’s Hanwha Defense, defense minister Mariusz Błaszczak has confirmed.

The European country will reportedly use the systems alongside US-built HIMARS launchers to improve the country’s protection against evolving threats.

“We have completed contract negotiations,” Błaszczak said. “I intend to sign a framework contract for the supply of almost 300 K239 Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers.”

Apart from the weapons, Warsaw seeks a transfer of technology deal to allow the South Korean MLRS to be integrated with Polish-built Jelcz vehicles and Topaz combat management systems.

The agreement would allow Poland’s defense industry to gain know-how in producing rockets for the Chunmoo.

Deliveries of the K239 MLRS are expected to begin in 2023.

K239 Chunmoo MLRS

Hanwha Defense’s K239 Chunmoo MLRS is a multi-caliber launch rocket system that entered service with the South Korean military in 2015.

It is part of the new generation artillery that fires 130-millimeter and 230-millimeter munitions.

The Chunmoo provides the army with an all-weather, indirect fire capability to strike enemy air defenses and armored formations at up to 300 kilometers (186 miles).

Apart from South Korea, the K239 MLRS is in service with the United Arab Emirates.

Increasing Threats

Poland’s recent defense spending spree comes amid increasing threats fueled by Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

European countries, mainly NATO members, are being urged to increase their defense capabilities to address emerging threats.

Earlier this year, Warsaw signed a $5.76-billion contract to purchase 180 K2 Black Panther Tanks and 212 K9A1 self-propelled howitzers from Seoul.

Poland also signed a 65-billion Polish zloty ($13.7 billion) agreement with the Asian nation to deliver 48 light combat aircraft.

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