April 05, 2023 13:16
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday showed off its new Korean-made Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers.
The Saudi Defense Ministry tweeted pictures and a video clip of Saudi military chief Lt. Gen. Fayyad al-Ruwaili being shown two Chunmoo MRLs and an ammunition resupply vehicle during a visit to military units on the border with Yemen on March 31.
Military boffin site Janes.com wrote, "The MRLs clearly had Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF) markings. The two MRLs were numbered 878 and 885, indicating the RSLF has acquired several more."
A government source here said Saudi Arabia has already finished live-fire Chunmoo launch training, adding, "We will cooperate more closely in the defense industry in the future."
Riyadh, one of the world's most enthusiastic arms buyer, has been keen to diversify supplies as relations with the U.S. and Europe cooled.
In March last year, the official Saudi Press Agency reported that the country signed a US$800 million contract to buy Chunmoo MRLs from Hanwha Aerospace. But there was no confirmation that they had been shipped.
A precision guided rocket launcher with a range of 80 km, the Chunmoo is capable of firing 12 rockets at 12 targets in 60 seconds with an automatic fire control system. It is also capable of firing 230-mm guided and unguided artillery rockets, 130-mm rocket pods, and even U.S.-made MRL rockets.
Saudi Arabia has been waging a deadly proxy war with Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen that prompted several governments to freeze arms sales to the Gulf country.
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