The Polish Armed Forces welcomed the delivery of its first K239 Chunmoo multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) on 21 August, which arrived at the port of Gdańsk on the Baltic coast in northern Poland.
A consortium of state-owned defence suppliers known as the Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) announced that it will integrate the South Korean MLRS with subsystems manufactured in the Polish defence industrial base.
These subsystems include the Jelcz P882 8×8 truck chassis and Topaz fire control management system, supplied by PGZ companies to field what the armed forces call its Homar-K (or ‘Lobster-K’) air defence system.
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Hanwha will deliver the first batch of 18 modules this year; GlobalData suggests that these revamped Homar-K units will enter service with the 18th Mechanised Division of the Polish Armed Forces. The systems will also safeguard Nato’s eastern flank.
K239 Chunmoo and Homar-K variants
The K239 Chunmoo can fire different guided or unguided artillery rockets. South Korea initially acquired 58 systems to counter North Korea’s long-range artillery threats effectively and improve the overall defence capabilities of the country.
South Korea’s Chunmoo is based on a Hanwha 8×8 truck chassis; the MLRS has a length of 9m, a width of 2.5m, and a height of 3m. It has an overall combat weight of 25 tonnes and can accommodate up to three crew members.
A typical South Korean Army Chunmoo battery comprises 18 vehicles and uses a K200A1 infantry fighting vehicle as the command vehicle.
Poland intends to mount its Homar-K variant on Jelcz trucks that PGZ claims are“the largest vehicle[s] that [have] ever left the walls of the Jelcz brand factory.” These trucks will also carry Poland’s American-manufactured HIMARS.
PGZ added that Polish Army soldiers learned to operate the Homar-K units in South Korea on 18th August; “this training will primarily prepare troops for shooting live ammunition.”
American, British and South Korean air defence assortment
The Chunmoo deal is the latest acquisition that the Polish Armaments Agency has made this year to bolster its international assortment of missile defence systems.
The diverse range will modernise Poland’s current arsenal – which according to GlobalData’s Poland Equipment Inventory (2023) includes 20 Russian 2K12 Kub-M units (procured between 1973-78), 64 9k33 Osa units (1980), three Poprad units (2020) and 2 Patriot systems acquired last year.