Although the M142 HIMARS systems are very famous on the Ukrainian battlefield, American weapons are still considered to be far behind the 600 mm KN-25 rocket artillery of North Korea.
According to Russian media, the M142 HIMARS complex, and even the heavy version M270 MLRS with 227 mm guided rocket shells, with a range of 70 – 120 km, only achieve a moderate level of damage. If using the MGM-140 ATACMS ballistic missile with a diameter of 610 mm, the range is only up to 300 km, with an error circle of several tens of meters. These parameters are not impressive compared to a special MLRS complex of North Korea, the KN-25.
On August 25, 2019, North Korea announced that, under the direction of Chairman Kim Jong-un, it had successfully tested a large-caliber multiple launch rocket system with the designation KN-25. According to KCNA, the test-fire “proved that all the technical and tactical characteristics of the system were satisfactory”.
This North Korean large-caliber multiple launch rocket system comes in two configurations, mounted on an 8×8 wheeled off-road truck chassis, or a tracked armored vehicle. In the tracked vehicle configuration, the launcher carries 6 Rockets, and for the wheeled cross-country truck, the number is 4.
The South Korean side, after observing, announced that the North Korean projectile had passed a distance of 380 km and reached a ceiling of 97 km. Although it is called a rocket launcher, it is easy to see that the size of the rocket must be close to that of a short-range tactical ballistic missile.
In addition, on the nose of the rocket, there are also navigation wings, showing that it can adjust the flight trajectory during the attack phase, the estimated error is less than 10 m. The North Korean multiple launch rocket system is said to have been granted access to the Beidou global positioning system by China to improve accuracy. In addition, in case of necessity, this weapon can also be based on US GPS-based positioning data returned from unmanned reconnaissance aircraft.
With such a large range and high accuracy, the new generation 600 mm multiple rocket launcher with the designation KN-25 of North Korea is considered by many military experts to be the most powerful in the world. The range and lethality of this weapon far exceeds that of Chinese products of the same type, even twice that of the most advanced multiple rocket launchers of Russia and the United States.
However, the weapon has not experienced real combat like the M142 HIMARS, the damage, range and especially the accuracy of the KN-25 need to be proven. But anyway, in theory, North Korea’s giant multiple rocket launcher is still a weapon that causes a lot of concern for South Korea, Japan, and even the US forces stationed there.