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Poniard

Multiple launch rocket system with guided rockets

Poniard guided rocket system

The Poniard rocket system was developed to engage fast attack boats

 
 
Country of origin South Korea
Entered service 2017
Crew 2 ~ 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ~ 7.5 t
Length ~ 7.3 m
Width 2.43 m
Height ~ 2.85 m
Armament
Caliber 70 mm
Number of tubes 36
Rocket weight 15 kg
Warhead weight ~ 5 kg
Firing range 5 - 8 km
Full salvo duration ?
Reloading time ?
Mobility
Engine KK-7.4 diesel
Engine power 180 hp
Maximum road speed 95 km/h
Range ~ 900 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step ~ 0.6 m
Trench ~ 0.6 m
Fording 0.76 m

 

   The Poniard is a Korean 70 mm land-based guided rocket system. Developed by South Korean LIG-NEX1 aerospace and defense manufacturer, it was designed to counter swarms of North Korean fast attack boats at the littoral waters of Korean Peninsula. First evaluation tests of this weapon were conducted on 22nd April 2015. On 3rd June 2016 first footage of how the Poniard fires its rockets were revealed in local media. During the tests the system hit multiple unmanned sea targets moving at high speed. The targets were engaged at a maximum range of 8 km. In 2017 first units of the Poniard were deployed to Yeonpyeong Island, in a dispute zone near two Koreas sea border, a zone where military incidents have frequently occurred in recent years. This system is used by the ROK Marine Corps.

   The demand for such a weapon arose after multiple military provocations on behalf of North Korea, especially after 2010 incident, when South Korean Pohang class corvette Cheonan sank in uncertain circumstances, while all signs indicated to Pyongyang’s hostile actions. Littoral waters of Korean Peninsula are shallow and are not accessible to large warships. Thus North Korea is effectively using fast attack craft, small flat-bottomed and fan-powered airboats, and hovercraft. These create danger of unexpected landing or attack on strategic South Korean objects. So considering these circumstances South Korean military officials were looking for an inexpensive and easy-to-use domestic rocket system that would effectively counter the threat of fast moving sea targets. This resulted in a creation of the Poniard, that is a relatively low cost system compared to similar foreign systems.

   The Poniard is a standalone weapon system with one shot one kill and fire-and-forget capability. It can engage multiple targets simultaneously day and night. This new weapon system uses modernized Hydra 70 rockets. These 70 mm rockets have been reconfigured into guided rockets, by adding an infrared guidance system. Each rocket is 1.9 m long. Once the rocket is launched no designation of the target is needed as it has its own seeker. In combat a mast-mounted target acquisition detects targets and transmits their thermal images to the rocket in pre-launch phase. Once the rocket is launched it flies automatically towards its target until the impact.

   The Poniard guided rocket system is based on a Kia KM250 military truck with 6x6 configuration. It carries a mast-mounted target acquisition system, target designation sight, as well as pods with rockets. The system carries a total of 36 rockets in two separate launchers (18 rockets in each launcher). As far as all components are installed on a single chassis, this allows to operate in a standalone mode without complementary machines. There were several early prototypes of the Poniard based on a KIA LTV light utility vehicle chassis.

   According to Korean sources between 2016-2017 a contract worth around $850 million was signed with countries from the Middle East, including Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon to deploy the Poniard system.

 

Zaal Tchkuaseli

   Article by ZAAL TCHKUASELI

   Want to publish your own articles? Visit our guidelines for more information.

 
Poniard guided rocket system

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Poniard guided rocket system

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Poniard guided rocket system

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Poniard guided rocket system

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