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Model recreation of a hwacha, on display at The Story of King Sejong exhibition in Seoul
  • Invented: 1451
  • Korean: 火車 (hwacha)

The hwacha (lit. "fire cart") was an early artillery device developed by Joseon Korea, consisting of a cart from which one hundred fire-arrows (K: singijeon) could be launched. It may have been the first multiple-launch rocket launcher developed in the world. Adjusting the angle of the launcher aided in aiming at a target.

Singijeon, developed several years earlier in 1448, were rocket arrows with pockets for gunpowder attached, based on an earlier form of fire-arrow developed by Choe Mu-seon of Goryeo. They were produced in three sizes (small, medium, and large), along with a two-stage type of rocket arrow known as sanhwa singijeon.


  • Gallery labels, The Story of King Sejong, Seoul.[1][2]