In concept the K239 Chunmoo is similar to the US M270 MLRS artillery rocket system.
MLRS has always been a type of ground fire with extremely powerful attack power. Despite appearing for more than half a century, Multiple Launch Rocket Systems are still the mainstay of ground attack power at a reasonable cost. For South Korea, one of the new weapons produced by Hanwha Group is the K239 Chunmoo, also called the K-MLRS (Korean Multiple Launch Rocket System).
K239 was started development in 2009 and completed at the end of 2013. South Korea’s Defense Agency for Technology and Quality spent 131.4 billion won ($112.4 million) on the project to create a replacement for the K136 and initial production was carried out in August 2014. In October 2014, South Korea announced the purchase of 58 K-MLRS. In August 2015, the ROK Army began deploying the Chunmoo.
In concept the Chunmoo is similar to the US M270 MLRS artillery rocket system. Republic of Korea Army currently operates a total of 58 M270 systems. However the new Chunmoo is based on wheeled chassis rather than tracked. The Chunmoo also lacks launching rails. Rockets are launched from interchangeable modular containers. Rockets are factory fitted and sealed in containers and can be stored without any maintenance for a number of years. Vehicle carries two of these containers.
Chunmoo is designed to be able to fire multiple caliber rockets. This includes 130mm, 227mm and 230mm rockets. A standard 130 mm rocket is 2.4 m long and weights 55 kg. It has a maximum range of 23 km. Extended-range rockets can reach 36 km. Other sources claim that newly developed rockets have a maximum range is 80 km. These artillery rockets are also being used by the current K136 Kooryong.
The Chunmoo is based on an 8×8 truck chassis also manufactured by the Company Hanwha. The truck has an armored cab located at the front of the chassis that can accommodate a crew of three. It offers protection against the firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters. All the firing operations can be controlled from inside of the crew cabin or remotely from outside of the truck.
The vehilce can run at a maximum road speed of 90 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 800 km. It can climb a gradient of 60% and a side slope of 30%. It can cross a trench of 1.4m and a water obstacle of 1.2m deep. Each Chunmoo launcher vehicle is planned to be escorted by associated transport vehicle, which carries two sets of reload rockets and is fitted with a crane.