KN-25

Summary

KN-25
TypeShort-range ballistic missile/Multiple rocket launcher
Service history
Used by North Korea
Production history
Designed2019
Specifications
Mass3,000 kg (6,600 lb)
Length8.2 m (27 ft)
Diameter600 mm

Operational
range
380 km (240 mi)
Guidance
system
possibly inertial with satellite

KN-25 is a designation given to a North Korean tactical ballistic missile.

Design

The KN-25 is officially described to be a "super-large calibre" multiple launch rocket system, but the larger size and greater range of the missile compared to traditional rocket artillery led the United States Forces Korea (USFK) to categorize it as an SRBM, and it flies on a controlled ballistic trajectory. Missiles are estimated to be 600 mm in diameter, 8.2 meters long, and weigh 3,000 kg; they are mounted on a four-tube wheeled transporter-erector-launcher (TEL). They have an unspecified guidance system and have six rotating rear fins with four moving forward fins, which likely provide the attitude control of the rocket.[1] The KN-25 is a battlefield weapon, suitable for deployment at battalion-level to attack enemy rear-echelon targets out to 380 km with a conventional blast-fragmentation warhead.[2][3]

The six rotating rear fins are an unusual feature for rocket artillery, a considerable innovation of North Korea. Their purpose is to provide stabilisation of the rocket while in flight, compared to other rocket artillery rounds, which are usually spin stabilised by rotating the entire body. This method of stabilisation creates a more favourable environment for the guidance systems, as the rest of the missile does not rotate.[4] It is possible that the missile will be stabilised through rolling the missile when it enters the upper atmosphere, where the smaller control fins are unable to function optimally, and then stopping the spin as it re-enters into denser air.[1]

The missile possibly derives from the OTR-21 Tochka/KN-02 Toksa, which has a similarly sized motor, at 62 cm diameter. Connecting three such motor segments would result in a length similar to that of the KN-25 rocket.[5]

The KN-25 is likely an indigenous project, as media coverage of this missile emphasis its research, using words such as 'Juche projectiles' to describe it, unlike the KN-23.[6]

Cruise missile launcher

On 13 September 2021, North Korea announced they had conducted successful flight tests of a land attack cruise missile (LACM) over the past two days. The mobile launcher appears to be the same vehicle used to carry KN-25 "oversized" rockets, both weapons likely being similar in diameter. The cruise missile is claimed to have a range of 1,500 km (930 mi) and could carry a conventional or nuclear warhead.[7]

Tests

Date[2][1] Number fired Range Apogee Notes
31 July 2019 Two 21 minute firing interval, dubious projectile; thin warhead, but different shape to the smaller KN-09 (MRL)
2 August 2019 Two 24 minute firing interval, tracked chassis
24 August 2019 Two 380 km 97 km 17 minute firing interval
10 September 2019 Two 330 km (210 mi) 50-60 km 19 minute firing interval, another rocket possibly failed to properly launch.
31 October 2019 Two 370 km (230 mi) 90 km 3 minute firing interval
28 November 2019 Two 380 km 97 km 30 second firing interval
2 March 2020 Two 240 km (150 mi) 35 km 20 second firing interval, first time seen operated by artillery soldiers, potentially reached initial operating capacity.
29 March 2020[8] Two or three 230 kilometres (140 mi) 30 km unknown firing interval, possibly around 1 minute, another rocket possibly failed to properly launch.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Analysis of the KN-25 Multiple Rocket Launcher System after the 9 March 2020 DPRK Test". March 23, 2020. Archived from the original on 2021-08-25.
  2. ^ a b KN-25. Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies.
  3. ^ North Korea’s Recent KN-25 Launches. 38 North. 6 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Brief on the Defence Development Exhibition of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea". oneearthfuture.org. Retrieved 2021-10-26.
  5. ^ "Pukguksong MLRS". www.b14643.de. Retrieved 2021-10-26.
  6. ^ "a tale of two missiles: analysis of kcna reports on north koreas kn-23 and kn-24 short range ballistic missiles". Archived from the original on 2021-01-15.
  7. ^ Initial Analysis of North Korea’s “New Type Long-Range Cruise Missile”. 38 North. 15 September 2021.
  8. ^ "North Korea Fine Tunes its Precision Strike Capabilities Amidst Pandemic". Beyond Parallel. 2020-03-30. Retrieved 2021-03-12.

External links

  • KN-25. Military-Today