MANILA – The South Korean-donated K-136 "Kooryong" multi-launch rocket system (MLRS), which is intended for the Philippine Army (PA) and Philippine Marine Corps (PMC), is expected to be delivered as early as June this year.

This was divulged by Army spokesperson, Col. Xerxes Trinidad, when sought for an update on the project on Wednesday.

"The Philippines will be providing the logistics for its shipment to our country. It is expected to be shipped within this year and has no specific timetable yet, although, it was earlier posted that by June 2022 ang dating nito sa bansa (will be arriving in the country)," he said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.

Also, he said that bidding for the MLRS' shipment or transport to the Philippines is now ongoing at the Department of National Defense (DND).

"The MLRS for the Army is donated by the (South) Korean government and it is still ongoing bidding at the DND (Department of National Defense) level for the shipment. The budget released (Special Allotment Release Order [SARO]) is dedicated for the shipment," he said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.

Trinidad said the SARO he was referring to was issued by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) last April 22. It is worth PHP20,933,680 and is intended to "cover the funding requirement for the transfer and acceptance of the donations to the PA and PMC of the 130mm MLRS under the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program."

The South Korean MLRS donation was announced sometime in 2019. Around 22 MLRS are earmarked for the Philippines.

The "Kooryong" has a range of 48 kilometers to 80 kilometers and can be used for internal and external defense.

PA chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. earlier said that MLRS will be delivered this June and the weapon will be the "showcase" of the Army.

"These assets will be the 'showcase of the Army and all of these will be under the stewardship of the Army Artillery Regiment," he said. (PNA)