Korea supplies weapons to Ukraine, including coveted Chiron MANPADS
PRAGUE ($1 = CZK25.03) – South Korea will ship weapons to Ukraine using a Czech arms company as the end user. The weapons will be paid for by the United States and are worth nearly $3 billion. In the arms aid package, Korea will include Chiron MANPADS, as desired by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Czech publication iDnes.cz wrote about the deal, calling it “secret trade” in its title. The author of the material is Czech investigative journalist Karel Hrubes, a specialist in serious economic crimes and money laundering. He is the author of topics on Czech national security.
The official position of the South Korean government towards the war in Ukraine is the reason why the Czech Republic is a “hidden mediator”. The Czech arms company will be the end user of Korean weapons. In this way, Seoul is exonerated from any responsibility if the weapon ends up in Ukraine, because the Czech company will have violated the end user certificate. A few months ago, South Korea officially announced that it would not supply weapons to Ukraine.
What will Czech society be like?
To date, Hrubes suggests that it will be one of the subsidiaries of Ceska Zbrojovka, a company specializing in the production of hunting, military and sporting weapons. Ceska Zbrojovka is part of Colt CZ Group SE.
Colt CZ Group SE currently denies the Hrubes investigation allegations. The company stated that currently none of the subsidiaries “is involved in buying weapons from South Korea”. The company also said that despite the allegations, it could not comment on any arms deliveries for security reasons. “Our company is not part of the US-funded weapons or ammunition supply,” said Eva Svobodova, spokeswoman for the Czech company.
Learn more about Chiron MANPADS
Chiron is a South Korean MANPADS designed in 1995, but entered service ten years later – 2005. The weapon has been produced since 2003 by the Korean company LIG Nex1. To date, there are only two operators of Chiron MANPADS – South Korea and Indonesia.
In South Korea, the weapon is known by its abbreviation KP-SAM and the name Shingung. Military experts claim that it is one of the most combat-capable and effective MANPADS in the world. The weapon fires an 80mm rocket and is piloted by a two-man crew.
The warhead weighs about 2.5 kg, and the maximum range of the missile is 7 km. The Chiron MANPADS missile is powered by a solid-fuel rocket and reaches a speed of Mach 2.1. The missile is guided by infrared guidance.
South Korean military analysts say Chiron MANPADS are suitable for anything low-flying – combat and reconnaissance drones, fighter jets, other types of combat aircraft and helicopters.
The Czech Republic and Ukraine
Czech Defense Minister Jana Chernohova described iDnes.cz’s claims as “media speculation” but stressed that she could not comment for security reasons.
The Czech Republic is one of the main arms suppliers to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Prague has dumped weapons and military aid worth an estimated $160 million to Ukraine. Sources say these are donated tanks, helicopters, ammunition and missile launchers.
EU recovery funds will repay 80% of Czech military aid, Minister Chernohova said. Czech media and sources in Prague government circles claim that Ukraine has ordered around $2 billion worth of Czech arms production.
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