Hwasong-10

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Hwasong-10 (Musudan) [1]
BM25 Musudan.jpg
Type Ballistic missile, Mobile IRBM
Service history
In service Successful test on 22 June 2016 [1]
Used by Korean People's Army Strategic Force, possibly Iran
Production history
Manufacturer North Korea
Specifications
Length 12m
Diameter 1.5m
Warhead
Warhead weight 1,000–1,250 kg (est.)[2]

Engine Liquid-propellant rocket (same or derived from R-27 R-29)
Propellant Hypergolic combination of unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) as fuel, and nitrogen tetroxide (NTO) as oxidizer[3]
Operational
range
3,000–4,000 km (est.)[2][4]
Guidance
system
Inertial guidance
Accuracy 1,600 m Circular error probable[5]
Launch
platform
MAZ-based vehicle
Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 화성 10
Hancha 10
Revised Romanization Hwasong-10
McCune–Reischauer Hwasong-10

The Hwasong-10 (Chosŏn'gŭl: 화성 10; hancha: 火星 10), also known by the names BM-25 and Musudan (Chosŏn'gŭl무수단; Hancha舞水端), is a mobile intermediate-range ballistic missile developed by North Korea. Hwasong-10 was first revealed to the international community in a military parade on 10 October 2010 celebrating the Korean Worker's Party's 65th anniversary, although experts believe these were mock-ups of the missile.[6][3] Hwasong-10 resembles the shape of the Soviet Union's R-27 Zyb submarine-launched missile, but is slightly longer.[3] It is based on the R-27, which uses a 4D10 engine propelled by unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine (UDMH) and nitrogen tetroxide (NTO). These propellants are much more advanced than the kerosene compounds used in North Korea’s Scuds and NoDong missiles.[5]

Since April 2016 the Hwasong-10 has been tested a number of times, with two apparent partial successes and a number of failures.

Inventory is less than 50 launchers.[7]

Assuming a range of 3200 km, the Musudan could hit any target in East Asia (including US military bases in Guam and Okinawa).[8]

Development[edit]

In the mid-1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, North Korea invited the Makeyev Design Bureau's ballistic missile designers and engineers to develop this missile, based on the R-27 Zyb. In 1992, a large contract between Korea Yon’gwang Trading Company and Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau of Miass, Russia was signed. The agreement stated that Russian engineers would go to the DPRK and assist in the development of the Zyb Space Launch Vehicle (SLV).[8]

It was decided that, as the Korean People's Army's MAZ-547A/MAZ-7916 Transporter erector launcher could carry 20 tonnes, and the R-27 Zyb was only 14.2 tonnes, the R-27 Zyb's fuel/oxidizer tank could be extended by approximately 2 metres.[3] Additionally, the warhead was reduced from a three-warhead MIRV to a single warhead.

The actual rocket design is a liquid fuel rocket, generally believed to use a hypergolic combination of unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) as fuel, and nitrogen tetroxide (NTO) as oxidizer.[3] Once the fuel/oxidizer combination are fed into the missile, it could maintain a 'ready to launch' condition for several days, or even weeks, like the R-27 SLBM, in moderate ambient temperatures. A fueled Hwasong-10 would not have the structural strength to be safely land transported, so would have to be fueled at the launch site.[3]

It was originally believed that the rocket motors of Hwasong-10 is made up the second stage of the Taepodong-2, which North Korea unsuccessfully test fired in 2006.[9] However analysis of the Unha-3 launch, believed to be based on the Taepodong-2, showed that the second stage did not use the same fuel as the R-27, and is probably based on Nodong rocket technology.[3]

Initially it was believed that there is a possibility that Hwasong-10 likewise is using the Nodong's kerosene and corrosion inhibited red fuming nitric acid (IRFNA) propellants, reducing the missile's range by about half.[3][10]

However it is unlikely that North Korea uses IRFNA propellants which will reduce its range by about half, after the experts acknowledged that the June 22 twin test range could be at 3,150 km if the missile was not launched in the lofted trajectory.[11]

North Korea sold a version of this missile to Iran under the designation BM-25. The number 25 represents the missile range (2500 km).[12][8] The Iranian designation is Khorramshahr and it was unveiled in September 2017. It has the potential to carry nuclear warheads, but it is uncertain whether it can carry multiple ones because nuclear warheads are large.[13]

List of Hwasong-10 tests[edit]

Attempt Date Location Pre-launch announcement / detection Outcome Additional Notes
1 15 April 2016 5:30 a.m. Pyongyang Standard Time Wonsan Reports of the test is imminent surfaced on just a day before.[14] Failure Both US and South Korea "detected and tracked" the missile followed by the confirmation of launch failure. South Korea further claims the missile in this test deviated from a "normal" trajectory.[15]

North Korea kept silent on the test despite the day is the 104th anniversary of the birthday of Kim Il Sung.

2 28 April 2016 6:10am Pyongyang Standard Time North Eastern Coast None Failure Crashed a few seconds after liftoff. North Korea kept silent on the test.[16][17]
3 28 April 2016 6:56pm Pyongyang Standard Time Wonsan None Failure According to US sources, the missiles went an estimated 200 meters off the launchpad. North Korea kept silent on the test.[17]
4 31 May 2016 5:20 am Pyongyang Standard Time Wonsan None Failure Missile exploded on site. North Korea kept silent on the test.[18]
5 22 Jun 2016 5:58 am Pyongyang Standard Time Wonsan None Success (North Korea) / Failure (South Korea & US authorities) Missile crashed at 150 km away from the site. First successful Hwasong-10 missile test that safely launched from the launch site but still exploded in the midway.[19][20] North Korea did not respond until after the 6th launch which hails the twin missile test was a success.

Although initial reports suggested that this test was a failure due to a relative short distance and the missile did explode in mid air, at least one US missile expert suggested otherwise.

David Wright, a missile expert and co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Global Security Program suggested that the North could have intentionally terminated its flight early to keep it from flying over Japan after launching it at a normal angle because the distance of flight at 150 km, corresponds roughly to burnout of the Hwasong-10 engines.[21]

6 22 Jun 2016 5:58 am Pyongyang Standard Time Wonsan None Success (North Korea) / Partial Success (South Korea & US) South Korea, US and Japan eventually confirmed that the missile reached an apogee of about 1,000 km and landed in Sea of Japan (East Sea of Korea) at about 400 km away from the launch site. South Korea originally skeptical of the test as success because the missile did not reach a minimum of 500 km to be considered as an IRBM.

However, with the subsequent analysis, experts agreed that the about 1,000 km apogee is intended for the missile to fly at a steeper angle than would be ideal that could reach its maximum range of 3,500 km or more as a deliberate attempt to avoid Japanese airspace.[22]

North Korea have hailed the twin test in 22 Jun 2016 as a 'complete success'in the state-owned TV channel KCNA with mentioning the missile accurately landed in the targeted waters 400 km away after flying to the maximum altitude of 1,413. 6 km along the planned flight orbit. North Korea confirms this missile as "Hwasong-10" The extract is re-uploaded in YouTube.[1]

Kim Jong Un reiterate that "We have the sure capability to attack in an overall and practical way the Americans in the Pacific operation theatre.".[23]

However, there are missile experts who are skeptical of Hwasong-10 being able to hit Guam with a 650 kg payload with the estimated range of 3,150 km. They have added that Hwasong-10 at this configuration will need to have their warhead reduced to below 500 kg in order to reach Guam, which is about slightly further than 3,400 km away from North Korea.[11]

7 (Alleged) 15 Oct 2016 12:03 pm Pyongyang Standard Time Kusong None Failure (South Korea & US) Intermediate Ballistic Missile launch failure detected by US military without elaborate details, which is believed to be a Hwasong-10 missile.[24][25] North Korea is silent on this report.

On 26 Oct 2016 however, Washington Post carried a report from an analysis from Jeffrey Lewis who raised that there is 50% chance which the North Korea might have actually tested their domestic ICBM (Western intelligence sources named this missile as KN-08) based on the burn scars evidence taken from satellite imagery to be bigger than any other Musudan (Hwasong-10) tests. He concluded that this test has damaged the launch vehicle without flight.[26]

In the same report, Jeffery Lewis has also stated not to place full trust on the U.S. agency StratCom for identifying missile. He had cited the track of StratCom which has misidentified the three missiles launched last month by identifying them initially as short-range Rodongs, subsequently medium-range Musudans which turned out to be extended-range Scud missiles.[26]

Jeffery Lewis is nonproliferation expert and director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).[26]

The news is also reported by other media agencies, including Yonhap.[27][28]

8 (Alleged) 20 Oct 2016 7:00 am Pyongyang Standard Time Kusong None Failure (South Korea & US) Intermediate Ballistic Missile launch failure again detected by US military without elaborate details, which is again believed to be a Hwasong-10 missile.[29]

The launch just took place hours before the final US Presidential Election 2016 debates starts and the North Korea is silent on this report.

On 26 Oct 2016 however, Washington Post carried a report from an analysis from Jeffrey Lewis who raised that there is 50% chance which the North Korea might have actually tested their domestic ICBM (Western intelligence sources named this missile as KN-08) based on the burn scars evidence taken from satellite imagery to be bigger than any other Musudan (Hwasong-10) tests. However, the missile in 20 Oct 2016 test could have fly for a short distance before things went wrong as compared to the test in 15 Oct 2016 which damaged the launch vehicle instead.[26]

In the same report, Jeffery Lewis has also stated not to place full trust on the U.S. agency StratCom for identifying missile. He had cited the track of StratCom which has misidentified the three missiles launched last month by identifying them initially as short-range Rodongs, subsequently medium-range Musudans which turned out to be extended-range Scud missiles.[26]

Jeffery Lewis is nonproliferation expert and director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).[26]

The news is also reported by other media agencies, including Yonhap.[27][28]

9 (Alleged) 11 Feb 2017 7:35 am Pyongyang Standard Time Panghyon Airport None Unknown

The missile was launched at 07:55 local time (22:55 GMT Saturday) and flew east towards the Sea of Japan for about 500 km, South Korean officials say.[30] According to ROK JCS, "it was launched around 7:55 a.m (KST), from Banghyeon in North Pyongan Province.[31]

Strategic implications[edit]

Currently, North Korea is also working on land based nuclear deterrents that are of Intercontinental range, such as KN-08, KN-14 (Upgraded version of KN-08). It is also working a sea-based nuclear deterrent, such as Pukkuksong-1 SLBM.

North Korea is confirmed to have successfully launched a KN-11 missile in a full test flight in a lofted trajectory and expecting KN-11 to be operationally deployed as early as before 2017 by South Korea military source in 25 Aug 2016.[32]

In May 2017 North Korea successfully tested a new missile, the Hwasong-12, with a similar range to the Hwasong-10. A new missile had been displayed in the April 2017 military parade on the Hwasong-10 mobile launcher, and the Hwasong-12 may be intended to replace the Hwasong-10 which has been shown unreliable during its test programme.[33][34]

Description and technical specifications[edit]

Estimated maximum range of some North Korean missiles[35]

Hwasong-10[edit]

  • Launch weight: about 20 tons (est.)[3]
  • Diameter: 1.5 m[3]
  • Total Length: 12 m[3]
  • Payload: 1,000–1,250 kg (est.)[2]
  • Warhead: single
  • Maximum range: 2,500–4,000 km (est.)[2]
  • CEP: 1.3 km
  • Launch platform: North Korean-produced TEL, resembling a stretched and modified MAZ-543

Operators[edit]

Map with BM25 operators in blue

Current operators[edit]

  •  North Korea: According to one source, more than 200;[36] other source claims 12 deployed.[37] 16 were seen at once during the October 10, 2010 Military Parade, although experts contacted by the Washington Post believed these were mock-ups of the missile.[6]

Suspected operators[edit]

Section 25 of this leaked cable (written before the 10 October 2010 appearance of the missile)[39] says:

Russia said that during its presentations in Moscow and its comments thus far during the current talks, the U.S. has discussed the BM-25 as an existing system. Russia questioned the basis for this assumption and asked for any facts the U.S. had to provide its existence such as launches, photos, etc. For Russia, the BM-25 is a mysterious missile. North Korea has not conducted any tests of this missile, but the U.S. has said that North Korea transferred 19 of these missiles to Iran. It is hard for Russia to follow the logic trail on this. Since Russia has not seen any evidence of this missile being developed or tested, it is hard for Russia to imagine that Iran would buy an untested system. Russia does not understand how a deal would be made for an untested missile. References to the missile's existence are more in the domain of political literature than technical fact. In short, for Russia, there is a question about the existence of this system.

Given that Iran did not publicly display this missile system, there might be a chance that such transfer from North Korea did not happen at all.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c KCTV (Kim Jong Un Guides Test-fire of Ballistic Rocket Hwasong-10) - YouTube, courtesy of KCNA
  2. ^ a b c d "Facts about North Korea's Musudan missile". AFP. GlobalPost. 8 April 2013. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013. IHS Jane's puts the estimated range at anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometres ... potential payload size has been put at 1.0-1.25 tonnes. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Markus Schiller (2012). Characterizing the North Korean Nuclear Missile Threat (Report). RAND Corporation. ISBN 978-0-8330-7621-2. TR-1268-TSF. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.nasic.af.mil/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=F2VLcKSmCTE%3d&portalid=19
  5. ^ a b "Musudan (BM-25) - Missile Threat". Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d John Pomfret and Walter Pincus (1 December 2010). "Experts question North Korea-Iran missile link from WikiLeaks document release". Washington Post. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat (Report). Defense Intelligence Ballistic Missile Analysis Committee. June 2017. p. 25. NASIC-1031-0985-17. Retrieved 16 July 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/legacy_files/files/publication/150325_Korea_Military_Balance.pdf
  9. ^ "2nd 3rd Right Side". Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  10. ^ Markus Schiller, Robert H. Schmucker (31 May 2012). Explaining the Musudan (PDF) (Report). Schmucker Technologie. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Michael Elleman: North Korea’s Musudan missile effort advances - IISS Voices, 27 Jun 2016
  12. ^ Majumdar, Dave. "Iran's New Missile That Has Donald Trump Steaming Mad: Born in North Korea?". The National Interest. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  13. ^ http://nationalpost.com/news/world/israel-middle-east/defiant-rouhani-says-iran-will-press-on-with-missile-program
  14. ^ Ahn, JH (14 Apr 2016) North Korea deploys missile for possible launch North Korea News, Retrieved 14 Apr 2016
  15. ^ North Korea’s missile launch has failed, South’s military says - Washingtonpost.com, 15 April 2016
  16. ^ South Korea: Suspected midrange North Korean missiles fail - Airforcetimes.com, 28 April 2016
  17. ^ a b North Korea launches two midrange missiles; both tests fail - CNN, 29 April 2016 GMT
  18. ^ Tamir Eshel (31 May 2016). "North Korean Musudan IRBM Failed - Again". Defense Update. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  19. ^ "(3rd LD) N. Korea botches fifth Musudan missile test-launch". Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  20. ^ "North Korean missiles fall in Sea of Japan- Pentagon". 22 June 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2017 – via Reuters. 
  21. ^ N. Korea's fifth Musudan test might not have been failure: US expert Archived 2016-06-29 at the Wayback Machine. - The Korea Times, 29 Jun 2016
  22. ^ North Korea's Musudan Missile Test Actually Succeeded. What Now? - The Diplomat, 23 Jun 2016
  23. ^ Kim Jong-un boasts of North Korea's Musudan missiles launch - International Business Times, 23 Jun 2016
  24. ^ North Korea conducted failed ballistic missile test, US military says - The Guardian, 15 Oct 2016 22:34 British Standard Time
  25. ^ US military detects 'failed ballistic missile launch' in North Korea after state media vows revenge for 'hostile acts' - The Independent, 15 Oct 2016
  26. ^ a b c d e f Did North Korea just test missiles capable of hitting the U.S.? Maybe. - Washington Post, 26 Oct 2016
  27. ^ a b (LEAD) N. Korea's failed missile tests could have involved KN-08: U.S. expert, Yonhap 27 Oct 2016 12:06
  28. ^ a b 美专家:朝鲜本月试射的并非“舞水端”而是洲际弹道导弹 - CRI Online (In Chinese: "American Exert: North Korea's missile test in this month isn't 'Musudan' but an ICBM"), 27 Oct 2016 11:33:25
  29. ^ (LEAD) N. Korea's launch of Musudan missile ends in failure again: military - Yonhap, 20 Oct 2016 11:11
  30. ^ "North Korea 'conducts ballistic missile test'". BBC. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  31. ^ "N. Korea fired off a ballistic missile towards East Sea: JCS". Yonhap. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  32. ^ (2nd LD) N.K. leader calls SLBM launch success, boasts of nuke attack capacity - Yonhap, 25 Aug 2016 08:17am
  33. ^ Schilling, John (14 May 2017). "North Korea's Latest Missile Test: Advancing towards an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) While Avoiding US Military Action". 38 North. U.S.-Korea Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  34. ^ Panda, Ankit (15 May 2017). "North Korea's New Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile, the Hwasong-12: First Takeaways". The Diplomat. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  35. ^ "How potent are North Korea's threats?". BBC News Online. 15 September 2015. 
  36. ^ North’s Missiles Raise Concerns, Radio Free Asia, 13 October 2010
  37. ^ North Korea Rolls Out Ballistic Missiles, Global Security Newswire, 13 October 2010
  38. ^ William J. Broad; James Glanz; David E. Sanger (28 November 2010). "Iran Fortifies Its Arsenal With the Aid of North Korea". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  39. ^ U.S. Secretary of State (2010-02-24). "U.S.-Russia Joint Threat Assessment Talks - December 2009". 10STATE17263. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 

External links[edit]