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Category: Term of the day


Hwacha was a multiple rocket launcher developed and used in Korea during the Joseon Dynasty (13921897). It had the ability to fire up to 200 singijeon, a type of fire arrow rocket, at one time.

The hwacha consisted of a two-wheeled cart carrying a board filled with holes into which the singijeon were inserted.

The hwacha's structure was very similar to a hand cart with a mobile wooden launchpad on the top filled with 100 to 200 cylindrical holes, into which the ignitors were placed.

The ammunition, similar to the Chinese fire arrow, consisted of a 1.1 m long arrow with the addition of a paper tube filled with gunpowder attached to the shaft just below the head. Approximately 100 projectiles were loaded and launched in one volley.

One variant had 5 rows of 10 gun barrels in the launchpad, each of which could fire a bundle of four arrow-like projectiles.

The back side of the hwacha featured two parallel arms that allowed the operator to push and pull the machine, and a vertical strip designed for in-line attacks or stand ground-sentry positions.

Hwachas were usually made of pine wood, although there are some versions made of oak. Ropes used within were usually made of hemp.

Sergyi Way

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