October 17, 2022 13:12
Korea is poised to sign a contract for the sale of 300 Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers to Poland worth US$5 billion.
The Chunmoo is capable of firing missiles and rockets of a range of calibers and is considered more powerful than the U.S.-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, which are being used by Ukraine against the Russian invasion.
Korea also recently signed a W25 trillion contract to export K2 tanks, K9 self-propelled howitzers and FA-50 light combat fighter jets to Poland (US$1=W1,429). The total value reaches W40 trillion if logistics supplies are included.
That means Poland is now Korea's biggest arms export market.
The contract will be signed this week, a government source here said on Sunday, and delivery will start next year.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak last Friday told local media his government chose the Chunmoo because it offers the highest quality and efficiency. "It's an excellent artillery weapon, and based on our observations from the war in Ukraine we can clearly see how much advantage can artillery create on the battlefield," he added.
In 2019, Poland placed an order to buy 20 HIMARS launchers, which will arrive next year and last May asked for another 500 of them. But it decided to buy the Chunmoo launchers because they can start shipping faster.
"We're aware that we will not receive all 500 HIMARS launchers, for which we have sent a letter of request, within a timeline that would be satisfactory to us," Błaszczak said. "We decided to split the HIMARS order into stages. We will have both the HIMARS and the Chunmoo."
The Chunmoo was deployed combat ready in 2015 and cost W130 billion to develop. Its 239-mm guided rocket is capable of hitting a target 80 km away with pinpoint accuracy, and if a cluster bomb is used, 300 bomblets will be scattered in mid-air to pulverize an area the size of three football fields.
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