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Multiple launch rocket system

KN 09 artillery rocket system

The North Korean 300 mm artillery rocket system is among the most capable systems in the world

Country of origin North Korea
Entered service ?
Crew ~ 5 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ?
Length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Caliber 300 mm
Number of tubes 8
Rocket weight ~ 800 kg
Warhead weight ~ 200 kg
Firing range 130 km (?)
Full salvo duration ~ 45 s
Reloading time 15 ~ 20 minutes
Engine diesel
Engine power ?
Maximum road speed ~ 90 km/h
Range 800 ~ 1 000 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.5 m
Trench ~ 0.6 m
Fording ~ 0.8 m


   In 2014 there were reports from South Korean intelligence that North Korea is testing a new large-caliber artillery rocket system of new type. This artillery rocket system was first publicly revealed in 2015. Its slightly improved version was test fired in 2016. Some sources refer it as KN-09, though it is not its actual designation. A couple of launcher vehicles were publicly displayed, however current status of this artillery rocket systems or its production numbers are unknown. Its exact specifications are also unconfirmed.

   So far it is the most powerful multiple launch rocket system developed by North Korea. This country also operates M1985 and M1991 artillery rocket systems that use 240 mm rockets. Though these two systems are less capable and have shorter range. The new 300 mm artillery rocket system is among the most capable systems of its type in the world. It is intended to engage important area targets behind the enemy lines. Its typical targets are airfields, artillery and air defense missile batteries, command posts, as well as large concentrations of troops and armored vehicles.

   This artillery rocket system has a total of 8 launch tubes for 300 mm artillery rockets. These are arranged in 2 pods of 4 launch tubes. The pods are factory fitted and sealed. The whole pod can be rapidly replaced in field conditions by the help of a crane. So the reload of such system takes less time than reloading individual launch tubes.

   Most likely that this North Korean system uses Chinese SY-300 artillery rockets. These have a range of up to 130 km. Such range is sufficient to reach South Korean capital Seoul while firing from the North Korean territory. The SY-300 rockets are accurate out to 200 meters using inertial guidance system, and out to 50 meters using inertial guidance system with Baidu satellite navigation system update. The rocket can carry High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG), cluster rockets with scatterable anti-tank or anti-personnel mines, and even chemical warheads.

   Artillery rockets are less complex than ballistic missiles, more reliable and cheaper and easier to  produce. Also these rockets are more difficult to counter due to the fact that these are being fired in massed volleys. Air defense systems are typically not designed to intercept artillery rockets.

   The launcher vehicle has a 2-door cab, that accommodates the entire crew. There area special shutters, that cover windshield and prevent its damage from rocket exhaust and falling debris.

   This North Korean artillery rocket system is based on a Chinese HOWO heavy-duty commercial truck with 6x6 configuration. In North Korea this truck was repurposed for military applications. This vehicle has some degree of cross-country mobility. It can travel over all kinds of roads even off-road.


Similar weapons


   Fadjr 5C is a recent Iranian artillery rocket system. It was unveiled in 2017. Even though it is not directly related to the North Korean system, it also uses Chinese SY-300 artillery rockets with satellite navigation guidance. This system is also capable of launching older 333 mm rockets of the Fadjr 5. Though this Iranian system carries only 4 rockets.



KN 09 artillery rocket system

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KN 09 artillery rocket system

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KN 09 artillery rocket system

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