Country of origin
18 ~ 20 m
1.5 ~ 1.8 m
Missile launch weight
~ 30 t
Number of MIRVs
Range (full load)
Range (reduced load)
up to 10 000 km (?)
14 (Mars 14) is a new North Korean road-mobile Intercontinental Ballistic
Missile (ICBM). It is carried by an 8-axle vehicle. This missile was first launched in 2017.
The second launch followed after a couple of months. As far as the
test launches were successful, it is possible that this missile was declared
is developing its nuclear arsenal at unprecedented pace. New types of
ballistic missiles emerge at alarming rate. Development of the Hwasong 14 ballistic missile was assisted by Russia, China
and possibly Ukraine. This explains the rapid progress of North
Korea in the development of its new ICBMs. Due to complexity of
technology involved North Korea could not develop such missiles on
its own. Russia reportedly supplied Ukrainian-built engines for
these missiles via a state space agency. China supplied Transport Erector Launcher
(TEL) vehicles to carry these missiles and, possibly, contributed to
warhead technology. Russia and China aid North Korea in
the design of nuclear weapons in order to distract world's attention
from their own missile programs and aggressive behavior.
14 is a 2-stage missile. It could be a 2-stage version of
intermediate-range ballistic missile, as its first stage appears to
be similar to the Hwasong 12. The second stage apparently increased
range of the missile. The Hwasong 14 is a solid-fuel missile. This feature allowed to mount
the missile on a wheeled TEL vehicle. The missile is around 18-20 m
of the Hwasong 14 has a single engine. It is a modified Soviet
RD-250 series engine, used on an R-36 ICBM (Western reporting name
SS-9 Scarp). In 2017 Space Agency of Ukraine confirmed that these
engines of the North Korean ICBMs were built in Ukraine, but were
originally supplied to Russia for use on Tsyklon space rockets.
According to South Korean intelligence around 20-40 RD-251 engines
were obtained from Russian in 2016. Due to complexity of the
technology North Korea could not reverse-engineer or locally modify
these engines. Furthermore it appears that North Korea can not
produce even fuel for the RD-250 series engine. The fuel had to be
obtained from China or Russia.
stage of the Hwasong 14 resembles upper stages designed for Iranian
space launched vehicles. Some sources report that the second stage
uses an RD-4D10 engine, originally designed and built for Soviet
R-27 submarine-launched ballistic missile.
estimated that the Hwasong 14 could potentially have a range
of 6 700 to up 10 000 km. Such range is sufficient to reach United States.
its nose cap this ICBM carries a single warhead.
Though there is no reliable information regarding throw weight of
the missile, or blast yield of its warhead. Some sources report that
the warhead might be based on American Mark 2 design of the 1950s
and could potentially produce 15 kT - equivalent to Hiroshima bomb.
that this missile has inertial guidance system with a satellite
navigation system update.
14 missile is carried by a Chinese
Wanshan WS51200 8-axle TEL vehicle with
16x12 configuration. It is a product of Wanshan Special Vehicle
North Korea has got no capabilities to produce these multi-axle
vehicles on its own. Furthermore since 2006 sanctions imposed on
North Korea by the United Nations have banned export of military
hardware to North Korea. Vehicles were imported from China in 2011
violating these arms control regulations. The Wanshan WS51200 vehicles were officially referred as "logging transport"
for civilian applications. North Koreans
locally converted these vehicles into missile launchers by
installing hydraulic gear and controls to erect a missile.
TEL of the Hwasong 14 has got no launching container, that would protect the
vehicle from rocket exhaust. Though North Korea solved this problem
by using a special launch pad on base of the missile. Once in launch
position the TEL vehicle just erects the missile on the launch
pad. After that the vehicle leaves the launch site in order to avoid
damage from rocket exhaust. However once the missile is launched the
TEL can be reloaded with another missile. Reload missile is carried
on a 4-axle semi-trailer, towed by Chinese HOWO tractor truck.
Reloading is performed by a crane.
vehicle is operated by a crew of 4 to 6.
intercontinental ballistic missiles are harder to detect and hit.
These have a high probability of surviving the first strike, once
the country has been attacked. Once on high alert, the Hwasong 14
missiles can leave their bases and operate in remote areas in order
to increase their survivability. Most likely that Hwasong 14 TELs
with missiles are based in underground facilities, excavated in
hillsides. Though mobile missiles a more costly to maintain and
operate, comparing with silo-based missiles, and require more
personnel. The Hwasong 14 can launch its missile from prepared sites
or from unprepared positions during field deployment.