By Jung Sung-ki
South Korea's Hanhwa Corporation will export about 20 lightweight 70mm multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) to Jordan, according to officials at the company and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), Wednesday.
A contract will be signed in August, they said.
Under the proposed contract, Hanwha will help Jordan develop two prototypes of the mid-sized rocket launcher with technology transfer and begin production after two years of trials.
``Hanwha will transfer key MLRS technologies regarding a launch pad, fire-and-control system and navigation equipment to Jordan under the deal," said a DAPA official, who declined to comment on the exact scale of the deal.
Hanwha is also negotiating with Libya on the export of the 70mm MLRS, he added.
Designed for firepower support for infantry regiments, it has a range of 8 kilometers and can fire up to 40 rockets within 10 minutes.
The company developed the system in 2000. It has already undergone trials with the South Korean Army, but has yet to be deployed in the field.
Hanwha has already produced and deployed 130mm (36-round) MLRS with the Army since the early 1980s.
In April, DAPA approved a plan to develop an indigenous 65-kilometer-range 230mm MLRS by 2013 to replace the 130mm MLRS fleet with a range of 36 kilometers and improve the Army's counter-artillery capability against North Korea.
Hanwha will take charge of system integration and build guided and non-guided rockets, while Doosan DST will build the launch pad and vehicle, the agency said.