Korea supplies arms to Ukraine, incl much-coveted Chiron MANPADS
PRAGUE ($1=25.03 CZK) — 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.
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The Czech publication iDnes.cz wrote about this deal, calling it “secret trade” in its headline. The author of the material is the Czech investigative journalist Karel Hrubes – a specialist in the field of serious economic crimes and money laundering. He is the author of topics about Czech national security.
The official position of the South Korean government towards the war in Ukraine is the reason for the Czech Republic to be a “hidden mediator”. The Czech arms company will be the end user of the Korean arms. In this way, Seoul is absolved of responsibility if the weapon ends up in Ukraine, as 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.
Which will be the Czech company?
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 the Colt CZ Group SE corporation.
Colt CZ Group SE is currently denying the allegations in the Hrubes investigation. The company said that at the moment none of the subsidiaries “is involved in the purchase of weapons from South Korea”. The company also said that despite the allegations, it could not comment on any arms shipments for security reasons. “Our company is not part of the arms or ammunition supply funded by the US,” said Eva Svobodova, a spokeswoman for the Czech company.
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 Chiron MANPADS operators – 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 manned 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 using infrared homing.
South Korean military analysts claim that Chiron MANPADS is suitable for everything that flies at low altitudes – combat and reconnaissance drones, fighter jets, other types of combat aircraft, and helicopters.
The Czech Republic and Ukraine
Czech Defense Minister Jana Chernohova described the iDnes.cz claims as “media speculation” but stressed that she could not comment for security reasons.
The Czech Republic is one of the main suppliers of weapons to the armed forces of Ukraine. Prague has dumped weapons and military aid worth an estimated $160 million to Ukraine. Sources claim that these are donated tanks, helicopters, ammunition, and missile launchers.
EU recovery funds will reimburse 80% of Czech military aid, Minister Chernohova said. Czech media and sources in Prague’s government circles claim that Ukraine has ordered approximately $2 billion worth of Czech arms production.
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