Wednesday, March 23, 2011

History of North Korea's Missile Program

Author: Slavic A.

History of the North Korean missile program begins with copying and modernization of Soviet missiles SCUD ( 8K14 "Elbrus" ), which were sold to North Korea Egypt. The first samples that were designated as Hwasong-5, were taken into service, and already in 1986. were delivered to Iran, where is widely used during the Iran-Iraq war in the so-called War of the Cities.

Evolutionary improvements have been incorporated into the new version of the missile, known as the Hwasong-6, with increased range and payload mass. Since 1991, the missile was supplied to Iran and called it Shehab-2. According to foreign specialists in the years 1987-1992. North Korea supplied Iran about 100 missiles a family Hwasong and equipment for their production. According to others, deliveries amounted to about 200 rockets and from 6 to 12 mobile launchers.

In the future to increase the range and payload North Korean specialists simply increased Hwasong-6 at 50%. The new missile is known in the West as the Nodong-1. Nodong-1 - light fuel oil medium-range ballistic missile on a wheelbase that is used to defeat the enemy settlements and large area targets. Creating a missile began in the mid 80-ies. the first flight test took place in May 1990 at the site Musudan-ri. It is assumed that the development of missiles involved Chinese engineers. The first successful flight of the Nodong-1 took place in late May 1993 - launch missiles at a distance of 500 km was carried out on the Sea of ​​Japan. Long range was not assumed, since otherwise the test would endanger the territory of Japan.


The missile entered service in 1994. At the beginning of 2000. were produced from 75 to 100 Nodong-1 missiles, armed with a single missile battalion. Together with a separate missile regiments (missiles Hwasong-6), it is a part created in 1990 a separate missile division of the Supreme Command of the DPRK. Nodong-1 was put into serial production and is regarded as the currently deployed weapons. Production technology Nodong-1 has been transferred to Pakistan, where the missile is made under the designation of Ghauri. Ghauri is not only a copy of the Nodong-1, but also includes a set of the DPRK and components. Another buyer of the system became a regular customer of North Korean missile - Iran, which Nodong-1 is known as the Shehab-3. The press reported on the participation of specialists of the DPRK in flight tests of Ghauri and Shehab-3. The test program was not completely successful, in the first test of Iran's Shehab-3 missiles exploded in flight. According to various estimates, North Korea in 1994-1997. delivered to Iran from 5 to 12 BR Nodong-1, as well as four PU. For the period from 1997 to 2002 occurred delivery of the second tranche of North Korean missiles, only 20 were delivered. Interest in the new system showed Syria, Libya and Egypt.

Information about North Korean missiles are extremely scarce. The greatest part about Nodong-1 was obtained by comparing it with Pakistan's Ghauri and Iran's Shehab-3. Nodong-1 (see diagram) has a range of 1300 km (807 miles). Circular error probable is 2000m at maximum range. Based on data from the Pakistani and Iranian missile-twins, it is assumed that the starting weight of 16500kg length of Nodong-1 is 16.2 m, diameter 1,36 m. The missile is equipped with a 1200-pound warhead capable of carrying chemical, biological and medium-sized nuclear weapons. Placed on the upgraded under the North Korean standard of the Russian transport-launch vehicle. Presumably has an inertial control system, but maybe the use of more accurate and inexpensive system of satellite guidance systems.

Nodong-1 is able to effectively destroy the city, its range allows her to threaten parts of Japan. A serious drawback is the relatively low accuracy for advanced missiles, because it is largely useless in modern military conflicts. However, this accuracy is sufficient to cause such major centers such as Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and Khabarovsk. At the expense of mobility and low visibility to destroy the missile before launch is almost impossible. In the eyes of North Korean leadership's Nodong-1 is an effective deterrent and to prevent attempts at encroachment.

The next step in the development of North Korea's missile program was the establishment of missile Taepodong-1 and Taepodong-2. The characteristics of these missiles are not known precisely. Taepodong-1 - two-stage missile. From the photographs from satellites can be concluded that the first stage Taepodong-1 is a Nodong, second - Hwasong-6. Taepodong-1 was tested only once on August 31, 1998. as a booster, but instead of a missile carrying a third stage, probably solid, which is supposed to output a small satellite into low Earth orbit. The first 2 stages according to the means of observation have worked successfully, and the third is exploded and brought a satellite, although according to official media, North Korea - a satellite in orbit. This is the only flight was accompanied by a surveillance radar facilities in several countries, so U.S. and Japanese governments are likely to have enough data on this run. Moreover, since the characteristics Nodong missiles and Hwasong-6 are known, Western analysts believe that they were able to estimate the parameters and two-stage Taepodong-1: 25-foot rocket with a launch weight of 21 tons is able to deliver 1,000 pounds of payload at a distance of about 2500 kilometers. Although it is possible that the Taepodong-1 was originally conceived as a booster and was not intended for use as a medium range ballistic missiles.

Estimates of the Taepodong-2 launch (NKSL-X-2) is even more ambiguous. This missile also was tested only once, on July 5, 2006. But flew only 40 seconds before the explosion. Because of the limited information on a missile that analysts have to give more suggestions. According to satellite photos suggested that the second stage is the Nodong, ie the second stage is similar to the first stage Taepodong-1 with some changes, and the first stage is similar to the Chinese CSS-2 (see diagram). Estimate the parameters of Taepodong-2 is largely not based on data from the flight path, and on the characteristics inherent in these two missiles, and if these allegations are false errors in the analysis of Taepodong-2 could be very significant. According to the David Wright (David Wright) of the Union of Concerned Scientists stated Taepodong-2, used as a ballistic missile could deliver a one tonn payload to a distance of 6000 kilometers (which allows it to reach Anchorage pc. Alaska) and 500 kg to 9000 km thus ensuring the defeat of San Francisco and all cities in the U.S. Pacific coast to the north of it.

North Korea insists on the peaceful nature of the program Taepodong, aimed at the exploration of outer space, to emphasize the peaceful nature of those runs he assigned an Unha («The Milky Way").


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