May 31, 2018

Philippine Army Negotiates to Acquire Used K136 Kooryong MLRS from South Korea

The Philippine Army (PA) has always been longing to have Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) in its inventory, as it found such system to be good in providing large amounts of projectiles fired at the same time at a specific area. Such concentration of firepower can only be achieved by either large numbers of gun-based artillery systems firing together.

During previous Balikatan Joint Military Exercises with the US Military, the US Army displayed the firepower capabilities of the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, to the Philippine military top brass. While the Philippine Army wanted such system in its inventory, the unit price is very much beyond their budget for modernization or asset acquisition. Thus HIMARS remains a dream that the PA hopes to one day have.

Aside from the HIMARS, numerous groups, either defense companies or government-supported groups, have expressed interest to supply the Philippine Army and also the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) with an MLRS system. Several systems were given consideration by these armed services, and has actually found two offers to be very promising and might be considered should the PA and/or PMC have the means to acquire them.

MaxDefense won't incline to mention the specific systems, but they are actually from Israel and South Korea.

But alas! After the Philippine Army and the Philippine Navy (parent branch of service of the Philippine Marine Corps) submitted their proposed budgets for the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program, both services didn't get the budget they were expecting and deserved. And both services have no choice but to temporarily remove the MLRS requirements from both services' Horizon 2 Phase acquisition plans.

Thus the Philippine Army was left with no choice to find other means to be able to acquire even a basic MLRS system. This is for them to learn first hand the use of such system and incorporate it to their doctrines and development as a modern land force.

The Philippine Army and Philippine Marine Corps are both interested in acquiring MLRS systems to improve its artillery and firepower delivery. And lately the Philippine Army through the DND has shown interest in accepting South Korea's offer for K136 Kooryong MLRS from their Excess Defense Articles.

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