|Type||Multiple rocket launcher|
|Place of origin||North Korea|
|In service||2016 – present|
|Produced||2014 – present|
|Caliber||300 mm (12 in)|
|Maximum firing range||200 km (120 mi)|
The KN-09 is suspected to be derived from similar 300 mm caliber MRLs such as the Russian BM-30 Smerch, Chinese WS-1B, or even Syrian M-302. The truck used in the KN-09 is reported to be the Chinese-made civilian version of Sinotruk HOWO truck repurposed for military use. It was first seen in 2014 when South Korea and the United States were conducting their joint exercises.
South Korea estimates the 300 mm rockets have a range of 180–200 km (110–120 mi) with a 190 kg (420 lb) payload, much longer than the Korean People's Army Ground Force's previous longest-range MRL, the 240 mm M1985/M1991 with range of 60–65 km (37–40 mi). While this was more than enough to threaten Seoul, the KN-09's range can cover half of South Korea, including the ROK military's Gyeryongdae complex in South Chungcheong Province as well as the city of Daejeon, and threaten major United States Forces Korea military bases like Pyeongtaek and Osan Air Base, 97 km (60 mi) south of Seoul. The 300 mm rockets are probably(without knowing exact characteristics of KN-09 just comparing calibers) three times as powerful as the BM-21's 122 mm rocket, and fragmentation-mine shells and underground penetration shells are also in production; they may have some type of guidance system. South Korea believes the KN-09 may enter operational service by the end of 2016.
North Korean state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) released photos of the KN-09 in March 2016, revealing improvements to the system. The 6×6 launcher truck features armored louvers to protect the windshield from rocket blasts, and the eight launch tubes are contained in two pods of four rockets, decreasing reload time as pods can be preloaded with missiles and swapped out faster than reloading individual tubes. Although the MRL's design is suspected to be based on Russian and Chinese large-caliber rocket artillery, with guidance likely coming from Russian GLONASS or Chinese Beidou navigation system, the rockets have two control fins on their heads, a guidance characteristic of the American M31 GMLRS that has four small wings attached to the head of the rocket for accuracy & the Indian Pinaka Mk-II, a feature not present on the 9K58 Smerch. Based on the highly classified document, the North appears to have completed the development and deployment of 300mm multiple rocket launchers equipped with imagery-guidance and GPS systems that can hit Daejeon, where the joint military headquarters of the army, navy and air force are located.
North Korea introduced improved 300mm guided rockets with better guidance and extended range from 200km to 250km in 2017, it was designated as KN-15 by South Korean and American intelligence agencies.
- North Korea fired with KN-09 300mm MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System into its east waters., 2014, retrieved 6 July 2016
- China-made truck used by North Korea in new artillery system, 2016, retrieved 6 July 2016
- How to view North Korea's Recent Military Provocations (PDF) (Report). 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- ASSESSING THE DPRK’S KN-09 300 MM MULTIPLE ROCKET LAUNCHER SYSTEM: DECISIVE OR INCREMENTAL?. Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability. 10 June 2018.
- "North Korea Weapons". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- North Korea May Roll Out Rocket System With Greater Reach, South Says - NYtimes.com, 6 April 2016
- The threat of North Korea’s new rocket artillery - NKnews.org, 13 March 2014
- Defense Minister: North Korea has new rocket launcher capable of striking deep - Hani.co.kr, 7 April 2016
- N.Korea reveals details of 300mm multiple rocket launcher - NKnews.org, 4 March 2016