Country of origin
~ 12 m
~ 1.5 m
Missile launch weight
~ 20 t
~ 650 kg
Nuclear, single warhead with a blast yield of up
to 1 MT
Range of fire
2 500 ~ 4 000 km
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.