Malaysia looks to buy S. Korean rocket launcher

Malaysia looks to buy S. Korean rocket launcher

Malaysia’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has taken a strategic step to enhance its defense capabilities by signing contracts worth RM7.3 billion ($1.5 billion).

Among these agreements is a notable collaboration between the South Korean defense firm, known for its Chunmoo multiple rocket launcher system (MRLS), and Malaysia’s Widad Business Group.

This partnership aims to advance Malaysia’s MRLS acquisition program, which seeks to replace its aging rocket systems by 2026. The K239 Chunmoo MRLS, recognized for its reliability and versatility in various countries, is a focal point of this initiative. This system is capable of deploying a range of rockets and missiles, including the 290km CTM-290 ballistic missile, meeting Malaysia’s specified defense requirements.

South Korean defense expert Mason indicated that Malaysia intends to procure 36 MRLS units. Currently, Brazil’s Astros, the U.S.’s HIMARS, and South Korea’s K239 are under consideration. The K239 stands out for its compatibility with the 290km range missiles, crucial for Malaysia’s defense needs.

The K239 Chunmoo is recognized for its advanced technology and versatility, comparable to the American M270 and HIMARS systems. South Korea operates over 300 units and has exported them to the UAE, Poland, and Saudi Arabia. Recent estimates suggest that the global demand for this system could lead to exports of 500 to 600 units.

In the global market, the American HIMARS holds the largest share, followed by South Korea’s K239, highlighting the competitive landscape dominated by these advanced missile systems.

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