North Korea Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

Soldier30

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On April 2, North Korea launched a new medium-range ballistic missile, the Hwasong-16B. Traditionally, the launch was personally led by Kim Jong-un. The Hwasong-16B missile is equipped with a newly developed hypersonic glide warhead. North Korea said it has fully denuclearized its missiles and armed its hypersonic missiles with nuclear warheads. The Hwasong-16B solid-propellant missile flew about 1000 km reaching a maximum altitude of 101.1 km, hitting a conditional target in the waters of the Korean East Sea. South Korean authorities said they estimated the total distance traveled by the missile to be about 600 km. The estimated flight range of the Hwasong-16B missiles is up to 5,500 kilometers

 

gelgoog

Brigadier
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You can make them as small or large as you want. I think Russia's Avangard glide vehicle should also be pretty large given the required launcher.
You can put a pretty huge unitary thermonuclear warhead on a glide vehicle like this one the North Koreans made I think.
This should make it easier for North Korea to bypass missile defenses in the region like AEGIS, AEGIS Ashore, or THAAD.

Russia has a similar missile program. The RS-26 Rubezh. But the program development has been frozen. Supposed to use a Yars derived first stage with a glide vehicle and to be launched from mobile launchers. Such weapon systems are basically banned by the INF Treaty. But the US left the INF Treaty to develop weapon systems like the Dark Eagle.
 
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Valiant 1002

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New missile test yesterday (just announced this morning): "Hwasal-1ra-3" strategic cruise missile and "Byeolchi(?)-1-2" air defense missile.
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It has been a long time since the last time North Korea released images of the command vehicle and fire control radar station of an air defense system. This time they have been mounted on a larger and heavier chassis (8x8?).
 

stoa1984

Junior Member
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[DPRK] Hwasongpho-16-Na HGV IRBM《화성포-16나》형 V1.1

© A S☫heil presentation; First published 19 April 2024; Updated 20 April 2024

1. Table of Contents

1. Table of Contents Updated 20 April 2024

2. Introduction

3. Background

4. First preannouncement Updated 20 April 2024

5. First flight-test of the Hwasongpho-16-Na HGV IRBM Updated 20 April 2024

6. Specs Updated 20 April 2024

7. Forecast Updated 20 April 2024

7.1. North Korean unmanned spaceplane Updated 20 April 2024

8. Conclusion Updated 20 April 2024


2. Introduction

On 2nd April 2024, North Korea flight tested the Hwasongpho-16-Na (referred to in English as the Hwasongpho-16B), a two-stage solid-propellant booster armed with a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) IRBM, marking the first flight test of the second wedge-shaped HGV developed by North Korea.

3. Background

Overview of Pyongyang’s Hypersonic Missile Tests

From September 2021 to early April 2024, North Korea has conducted five tests of hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). The first type of wedge-shaped HGV was first tested in September 2021. The second type of wedge-shaped HGV was tested atop the Hwasongpho-16-Na on 2nd April 2024. The conical-shaped HGV has been tested three times from January 2022 to January 2024. Deviating from the use of liquid-propellant boosters, the HGV tested in 2024 was positioned atop a two-stage solid-propellant booster.

4. First preannouncement


President of State Affairs Kim Jong Un guides ground jet test of solid-fuel engine for new-type intermediate-range hypersonic missile

Pyongyang, March 20 (KCNA) — A ground jet test of a solid-fuel engine for new-type intermediate-range hypersonic missile, which is of another strategic value, was successfully conducted in the era when eye-opening sci-tech achievements have been simultaneously made in the course of steady development in bolstering up the national defence capability.

The Missile Administration of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and its affiliated engine institute conducted the ground jet test of multi-stage solid-fuel engine for intermediate-range hypersonic missile at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground on Tuesday morning and afternoon according to the schedule of development of new-type weapon system.

Kim Jong Un, General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea and President of the State Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, guided the test on the spot together with leading officials of the missile development sector.

A timetable for completing the development of new-type intermediate-range hypersonic missile weapon system was set through the great success in the important test.

The respected Comrade Kim Jong Un said that the military strategic value of this weapon system is appreciated as important as ICBM from the security environment of our state and the operational demand of the People's Army and enemies know better about it.

Kim Jong Un expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the development projects have been successfully completed in the strategic weapon sector during the period of the five-year plan set forth at the Eighth Congress of the WPK.

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(Juche 113.3.20.)

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▲ Kim Jong Un guides ground jet test of solid-fuel engine for new-type intermediate-range hypersonic missile.

002.jpg

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▲ Kim Jong Un guides ground jet test of solid-fuel engine for new-type intermediate-range hypersonic missile.

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5. First flight-test of the Hwasongpho-16-Na HGV IRBM


DPRK Missile Administration Succeeds in Test-fire of New-type Intermediate-range Hypersonic Missile

Pyongyang, April 3 (KCNA) -- A test-fire of new-type intermediate-range hypersonic missile of another military strategic value was successfully conducted in the great heyday of development of the Juche-oriented defence industry that witnesses powerful absolute weaponry of Korean style being developed in succession thanks to the devoted efforts of defence scientists upholding with their steadfast faith and correct practice the plan and decision of the Workers’ Party of Korea to bolster up the national defence capability in every way at the highest level.

Kim Jong Un, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and president of the State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), guided the first test-fire of Hwasongpho-16-Na, a new-type intermediate-range solid-fueled ballistic missile loaded with newly-developed hypersonic glide vehicle, on the spot on April 2.

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(Juche113.4.3.)

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PIC0080531.jpg

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▲ Hwasongpho-16-Na with newly-developed hypersonic glide vehicle.

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▲ Hwasongpho-16-Na with newly-developed hypersonic glide vehicle.


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▲ 미싸일총국 신형중장거리극초음속미싸일시험발사에 성공 Succeeds in Test-fire of New-type Intermediate-range Hypersonic Missile. Apr 3, 2024
 

stoa1984

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6. Specs

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▲ Comparison with the two different Hwasonpho-8 type (left) and Hwasongpho-16-Na type wedge-shaped HGVs.

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▲ A skip-glide HGV: That's how the DPRK statement described the HS-16-Na.

Since September 2021, North Korea has flight tested three types of HGVs, namely a conical shaped one and two wedge-shaped. In the 2nd April 2024 test, the wedge-shaped HGV (atop the Hwasongpho-16-Na) did not demonstrate any clear advantage over the conical-shaped one. In comparison, the conical-shaped HGV appears to have been tested under harsher conditions. The conical glider flew in denser atmosphere (40 km lower), and made a more radical "cross-range" move to reach the same 1000 km range (pic 1, 2). Burnout velocity of the 2022 test was probably much higher.

Fig1.jpg

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▲ Hypersonic glide vehicles tested by North Korea until April 2024.

• It is a HGV-type hypersonic missile following the Hwasonpho-8 and Hwasonpho-12 .
• Compared to the Hwasonpho-8 , the shape of the warhead is different, and the engine has been changed from a liquid propellant main engine with auxiliary verniers engine configuration to a single solid propellant engine configuration. This is similar to the case of the Korean People's Army Hypersonic Missile Type 2 and the Korean People's Army IRBM to be unveiled in 2024.
• Through comparison with the Hwasonpho-18, it may be a missile that shares the first stage with the Hwasonpho-18. Hwasonpho-18 is a three-stage solid propellant ICBM.
• There are two instances of this where the Soviet Union improved an ICBM and made it an IRBM. An opinion was also added that it could be a shortened form of Hwasonpho-18 in this way.

• The paint is a combination of black and white checkered pattern similar to Hwasonpho-15 and Hwasonpho-17. Therefore, in some say the HGV warhead looks like a smiling killer whale when viewed from the front.
• This is the third Type-Na missile to be released following the Hwasonpho-11-Na and Hwasonpho-12-Na . The problem is that the identity of “Hwasonpho-16” has not yet been revealed.



• The mobile missile launcher is similar to the TEL of Hwasonpho-18, with only the missile canister being slightly different. The number of wheels is 14, which is different from the existing ones.
• The flight speed of Hwasonpho-16-Na is said to be 15 to 18 times the speed of sound.
• Jang Young Gyun, director of the South Korean Missile Center, predicted that the Hwasonpho-16-Na's range would be at least 4'500 km.
• There is an opinion in South Korea that it has a range of 8'000 km, similar to China's Dongfeng-27 HGV ICBM.

7. Forecast

Back in 2017, North Korea has disclosed it was working on scramjet-powered warhead technologies.


North Korean scramjet engine

2017/07/17

If North Korea had made a Hwasong-14 ICBM with triconic nuclear warhead, it would not claim the missile as a "new strategic weapon that the world does not have and can not imitate."
As you can see, the idea is that the Hwasong-14 ICBM is a completely new missile with no equivalent in the world and that can not be imitated.
Like the Russian Topol-M ICBM nosecone, the long, thick conical-shaped Hwasong-14 warhead nosecone is an indication that the nosecone contains a scramjet-powered warhead that alters course midflight.

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▲ Russian scramjet engine used to produce a new class of ICBM, for illustration purpose only.

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Furthermore the first HGV mockup disclosed in October 2021 also shows an air breathing engine.

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▲ First HGV mockup disclosed in October 2021 also shows an air breathing engine, in Pyongyang's Defence Development Exhibition, named Self-Defence 2021.


Following the Hwasonpho-8 HGV, the Hwasonpho-16-Na HGV is therefore only another incremantal step toward this goal. We should expect more tests culminating with the ultimate Hwasonpho-20 scramjet-powered HGV with 15'000 km range solid propellant ICBM.
 

stoa1984

Junior Member
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7.1. North Korean unmanned spaceplane

The same technology will unlock civilian applications such as unmanned spaceplane.

Video Published on Jul 8, 2017 from the national exhibition of children's science fictions and models-2017:
▲ At T=2m54s to T=2m57s: North Korean two stages to orbit reusable space plane scaled model.

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▲ Screen capture from Jul 8, 2017 video showing a North Korean reusable space plane scaled model at the national exhibition of children's science fictions and models-2017.

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▲ Screen capture from Jul 8, 2017 video showing a North Korean reusable space plane scaled model at the national exhibition of children's science fictions and models-2017.

8. Conclusion

Coming just 3 years before being made obsolete by the U.S. Starlink, this IRBM will provide national pride and an enhanced international status for only a very brief period. Hypersonic speed is simply no match for relativistic speed counter weapons.

As we saw in the recent Iranian ballistic missile barrage on Israel, even legacy sub-luminal speed missile interceptor defence has the upper hand over ballistic missiles.

But this is the path decided by Iranian brains back a decade ago. Nonetheless, failing to improve the two Asian nations' military status durably, the development of the Hwasongpho-16-Na ICBM has boosted the North East Asian space power into the elite club of those with unmanned spaceplane capability.

For more detail please read @stoa1984's new dedicated thread: The 4th manned space race news and discussion


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