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Hwasong 10

Intermediate-range ballistic missile

Hwasong 10 ballistic missile

The North Korean Hwasong 10 was developed from a Soviet R-27 submarine-launched ballistic missile

 
 
Country of origin North Korea
Entered service ?
Basing Road-mobile
Missile
Missile length ~ 12 m
Missile diameter ~ 1.5 m
Missile launch weight ~ 20 t
Throw weight ~ 650 kg
Warhead type Nuclear, single warhead with a blast yield of up to 1 MT
Range of fire 2 500 ~ 4 000 km
CEP ?

 

   The Hwasong 10 (Mars 10) is a North Korean road-mobile Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM). It is also known under the names BM-25 and Musudan. This missile has been around for a couple of years, though its actual status is uncertain due to numerous failed launches. It was first publicly revealed in 2010 during a North Korean military parade. A total of 16 launcher vehicles with missiles were seen at once. However most likely that these were just mockups, as North Korea has not conducted any test launches of the Hwasong 10 missile until 2016. Furthermore there were numerous failures during test launches. In a number of cases the Hwasong 10 missiles exploded shortly after liftoff.

   The Hwasong 10 is based on a Soviet R-27 submarine-launched ballistic missile, but is slightly longer. Its development was assisted by Russians. In 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, North Korea signed a contract with a Russian Makeyev Design Bureau to develop a space launch vehicle, based on the R-27 missile. Russian ballistic missile designers and engineers went to North Korea to develop this missile.

   During the same period of time North Korea acquired from Russia or Belarus a number of MAZ-574 special wheeled chassis with 12x12 configuration that were originally used to carry a Soviet RSD-10 Pioner (Western reporting name SS-20 Saber) IRBM. As far as the R-27 missile was only 14 tones, and the vehicle could carry much heavier loads, the R-27s fuel tank was extended by approximately 2 meters in order to extend the range of the missile. Also the payload was reduced from a 3-warhead MIRV to a single warhead.

   The Hwasong 10 is a single-stage missile, that has a Soviet 4D10 engine and uses liquid propellant. Initially there were speculations that this missile uses kerosene compounds of the North Korea's Scuds and Nodong missiles. However it turned out that propellant of the Hwasong 10 is much more advanced. This ballistic missile still has to be fuelled prior to launch. However like the R-27 submarine-launched missile once it is fuelled it can maintain a "ready to launch" condition for several days or even weeks. It is believed that a fueled Hwasong 10 missile does not have the structural strength to be safely transported on land, so it has to be fueled on the launch site.

   Test launches of this missile indicate that it could have a range of 2 500-4 000 km. Such range is sufficient to cover South Korea, Japan, significant areas in China and Russia. It can also reach a US naval base in Guam and possibly Alaska. However other sources report that with a payload of 650 kg the missile could have a range of 1 900-2 350 km. This missile never demonstrated its full range performance.

   The missile carries a singe warhead, which weights around 650 kg. Though other sources suggest that the warhead could weight 1 000-1 250 kg. The warhead could potentially have a blast yield of 1 MT.

   The Hwasong 10 missiles uses a Soviet MAZ-547 Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) vehicle. This special wheeled chassis with 12x12 configuration was originally used to carry a Soviet RSD-10 Pioner IRBM. Some sources report that North Korea operates less than 50 MAZ-547 launchers. Recently some modifications were made. Notably side skirts were added. The MAZ-547 TEL vehicle is also used to carry newer Hwasong 12 IRBM. It is possible that due to numerous failed launches of the Hwasong 10 its TEL vehicle was simply repurposed to carry Hwasong 12 missiles, that was a more successful design.

   The TEL vehicle is operated by a crew of 3. Due to its road-mobile configuration the Hwasong 10 can rapidly displace between bases and launch sites over roads. The TEL has some degree of cross-country mobility as well. Its 38.9-liter V12 diesel engine develops 525 hp. This engine was originally designed for use in medium tanks and provided tremendous torque. It allowed road speeds of up to 60 km/h. Most likely that TEL vehicles with Hwasong 10 missiles are stored in underground facilities, excavated in hillsides. Once on high alert the missiles can leave their bases and operate in remote areas in order to increase their survivability. The TEL vehicle can launch its missile from prepared sites or from unprepared positions during field deployment. Once the missile is launched, the TEL vehicle can be reloaded with another missile. Reloading is performed by a crane.

 

Variants

 

   Khorramshahr is an Iranian IRBM. It was test fired in 2017 and was first publicly revealed during the same year. This missile strongly resembles the North Korean Hwasong 10. It has broadly similar dimensions, but a different nose cone. It reportedly carries a 1 800 kg payload. The Khorramshahr missile has a claimed range of 1 984 km. United States intelligence reports that North Korea transferred 19 of these missiles to Iran.

 

 

Hwasong 10 ballistic missile

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Hwasong 10 ballistic missile

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Hwasong 10 ballistic missile

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Hwasong 10 ballistic missile

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Hwasong 10 ballistic missile

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Hwasong 10 ballistic missile

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Hwasong 10 ballistic missile

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