Hyunmoo-2C

The Hyunmoo-2C is a short-range, solid-fueled ballistic missile currently in development by South Korea. The Hyunmoo-2C missile’s design is significantly different from that of the previous Hyunmoo 2A/2B variants. It has a range of 800 km, and is expected to enter service in 2018.

Hyunmoo-2C at a Glance

Originated from: South Korea
Possessed by: South Korea
Alternative names: NHK-2 PIP C, NHK-2C, NHK-2 Block C
Class: Short-Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM)
Basing: Road-mobile
Length: >13 m
Diameter: >0.9 m
Launch weight: >5,400 kg
Payload: Unitary warhead, unknown weight
Warhead: High explosive (HE), submunitions
Propulsion: Single-stage solid propellant
Range: 800 km
Status: In development
In service: 2018 (expected)

Hyunmoo-2C Development

Hyunmoo-2CIn late September 2012, South Korea successfully renegotiated the terms of the 2001 US-ROK “New Missiles Guidelines.” The new arms control agreement extended South Korean ballistic missile range limits from 300 km to 800 km, and allowed those missiles which remained at or under a 500 km range to carry a payload of up to 1,000 kg.1 These guidelines were likely agreed to deter North Korea without threatening regional powers, such as China and Japan. Following this development, South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) began work on a missile with greater range and accuracy than the Hyunmoo-2B.2 Although still in development it will likely be designated as Hyunmoo-2C.3

The Hyunmoo-2C is manufactured by Hanwha at a plant near the ADD site in Daejon, and the missile is expected to become operational by the end of 2017 and enter service in 2018.4

Specifications

The Hyunmoo-2C is reportedly longer and wider than previous Hyunmoo-2 variants. Although exact specifications remain confidential, reports indicate that the missile has a length of over 13 meters, a diameter greater than 0.9 m, and a launch weight of over 5,400 kg.5 The missile is likely solid-fueled and single-staged.6 It has an official range of 800 km.7

The Hyunmoo-2C is highly accurate, with a CEP of 1-5 m. According to one analysis, this “raises the possibility that the new weapon is intended for penetrating hard targets, such as bunkers and aircraft shelters.”8

The missile features fins on its reentry vehicle, similar to the U.S. Pershing II missile, which implies the ‘2C’ variant could be maneuverable and terminally guided.9 These reentry, or “control” fins, also distinguishes the missile from its 2B predecessor.10

The Hyunmoo-2C is transported by a 10×10 Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL), unlike the 8×8 TEL used for the Hyunmoo-2B.11 South Korean officials have not provided any information regarding the missile’s payload weight or guidance system.

Service History

The Hyunmoo-2C is currently in development, and is expected to enter service in 2018. The South Korean military has conducted four Hyunmoo-2C test flights, with two more scheduled before deployment. The fourth test launch on June 23, 2017, attracted significant media attention, as it followed North Korean KN-18 and Kumsong-3 missile tests, and included South Korean President Moon Jae-in in attendance.12 This test was successful, with video footage highlighting the missile’s accuracy.13

On September 28, 2017, South Korea’s military publicly displayed the Hyunmoo-2C for the first time. The missile was showcased during the Armed Forces Day held at the Navy’s 2nd Fleet Command in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province.14

Sources

  1. Choe Sang-Hun, “U.S. Agrees to Let South Korea Extend Range of Ballistic Missiles,” New York Times, October 7, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/world/asia/us-agrees-to-let-south-korea-extend-missile-range.html.
  2. Zachary Keck, “North Korea Isn’t the Only Korea with Killer Missiles,” The National Interest, July 8, 2017, http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/north-korea-isnt-the-only-korea-killer-missiles-21469.
  3. Choe Sang-hun, “South Korea Tests Missile Capable of Striking Any Part of the North,” New York Times, June 23, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/23/world/asia/south-korea-missile-ballistic.html.
  4. Jeffrey Lewis, Twitter Post, June 24, 2017, 9:16AM, https://twitter.com/ArmsControlWonk/status/878647912044953600; Kim Minseok & Bradley Perrett, “Seoul’s Latest Ballistic Missile Close To Deployment,” Aviation Week, July 19, 2017, http://m.aviationweek.com/defense/seoul-s-latest-ballistic-missile-close-deployment.
  5. Minseok & Perrett.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Franz-Stefan Gady, “South Korea Test Fires New Ballistic Missile,” The Diplomat, April 7, 2017, http://thediplomat.com/2017/04/south-korea-test-fires-new-ballistic-missile/.
  8. Minseok & Perrett.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Lewis, Twitter Post.
  11. Minseok & Perrett.
  12. Jun Ji-hye, “Moon observes test-firing of new ROK ballistic missile,” The Korea Times, June 23, 2017, https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2017/06/205_231828.html.
  13. “South Korea Release Footage of New Test of Hyunmoo-II Missile,” Storyful News, August 28, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgpoTLpuFHg.
  14. Yeo Jun-suk, “Seoul showcases strategic weapons targeting NK,” The Korea Herald, September 28, 2017, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170928000875.
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