KN-06 (Pon’gae-5)

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The KN-06 (Pon’gae-5) is a North Korean surface-to-air missile. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un declared the KN-06 weapons system operationally capable following a test on May 28, 2017.

KN-06 (Pon’gae-5) at a Glance

Originated from
North Korea
Alternate names
Possessed by
North Korea
Surface-to-air missile
6.8 – 7.25 m
0.45 – 0.50 m
Solid propellant
High-explosive blast-fragmentation
In service
May 28, 2017

KN-06 Development

In the early 2000s, North Korea began efforts to obtain advanced air defense systems to replace aging fleet of S-200 surface-to-air missiles.1 After a protracted acquisition period, Pyongyang first displayed the KN-06 during a military parade on October 10, 2010.2

It is unclear how North Korea acquired the requisite technology for the KN-06. Given the KN-06’s sudden emergence and visual similarities to Russia’s S-300P and China’s HQ-9/FT-2000 systems, analysts have suspected that North Korea acquired the weapon through technology transfers with Russia or China. The KN-06 system’s missile body, phased-array radar, and truck-based transporter erector launcher (TEL) bear close resemblance to existing Russian systems. 3 Notably, the manufacturer of Russia’s air defense transporter-erector-launchers, KAMAZ, entered a joint production agreement with North Korea in 2007, constructing a plant in the North Korean city of Pyeongseong.4

Flight tests

North Korea has conducted three known flight tests of the KN-06 since its service introduction. In June 2011, South Korean news outlet Chosun Ilbo reported a successful test of a short-range missile, believed to be the KN-06, that flew 150 km before landing in the sea off North Korea’s western coast.5

On April 2, 2016, North Korean state media released images of Kim Jong Un attending a second flight test of the weapons system. Following a third test on May 28, 2017, Kim Jong-un declared that the missile had become operationally capable after “perfectly overcoming” defects identified in previous tests.6


The KN-06,  also known as the Pon’gae-5, is a road-mobile surface-to-air missile system. Based on the system’s similarities with the Russian S-300 and Chinese HQ-9/FT-2000,  the KN-06 interceptor likely measures between 6.8 and 7.25 m in length, is .466 to .514 m in diameter, and weighs approximately 1300 to 1700 kg.7  South Korean media reports and the KN-06’s resemblance to the Russian S-300 could indicate a range of up to 150 km, which seems to be supported by the system’s performance in tests.

The KN-06 incorporates two Taepaekasan-96 6×6 trucks (a renamed or kit-assembled KAMAZ 55111 chassis) to transport the missile’s launch tubes and targeting radar. The KN-06 transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) can apparently fit up to three launch canisters.8 The KN-06’s targeting radar closely resembles Russia’s 5N63 “Flap Lid” radar, an X-band, phased-array radar employed in the Russian S-300P air defense system.9

Russian ‘Flap Lid’ radar, employed in S-300 system. Photo: Russia MoD

Based on the number of truck assembly kits KAMAZ exported to North Korea, Pyongyang could produce as many as 156 KN-06 TELs.10 Like the foreign S-300P and HQ-9 systems, a KN-06 battery likely consists of one command post, one radar, and three to four TELs.11

Service History

Kim Jong-un declared the KN-06 operational on May 28, 2017. Analysts suspects that North Korea may have deployed the system on several man-made islands near its missile development sites in Sohae.12


    1. “NAPSNet Daily Report 07 February, 2001”, Daily Report NAPSNet, February 07, 2001,
    2. Ankit Panda, “North Korea Declares KN-06 Surface-to-Air Missile Operational After Successful Test,” The Diplomat, May 29, 2017,
    3. Kyle Mizokami, “A North Korean Mystery: Where Did its Rockets and Missiles Come From?” The National Interest, June 17, 2017,; Richard D. Fisher, “North Korea KN-06 test confirms similarity to Chinese and Russian fourth-generation SAMS,” IHS Jane’s 360, April 6, 2016, Web Archive,; Elizabeth Shim, “Russian-built trucks replicated for North Korea parade,” United Press International, April 19, 2017,
    4. Fisher 2016.
    5. “North Korea Successfully Test-Fired Short Range Missile,” Chosun Ilbo, June 14, 2011,
    6. Tyler Rogoway, “North Korea says KN 06 SAM System Ready for Production After Successful Test,” The Drive, May 28, 2017,
    7. “S300P” in IHS Jane’s Land Warfare Platforms: Artillery and Air Defense 2012-2013, ed. Christopher Foss and James C. O’Halloran (IHS: United Kingdom, 2012), 511; “HQ-9/FT-2000,” in IHS Jane’s Land Warfare Platforms: Artillery and Air Defense 2012-2013, ed. Christopher Foss and James C. O’Halloran (IHS: United Kingdom, 2012), 428.
    8. Chosun Ilbo.
    9. Fisher, 2016.
    10. Shim.
    11. Office of the Secretary to Defense, Military and Security Developments Involving the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 2012,
    12. Damen Cook, “North Korea’s Mysterious New Islands,” The Diplomat, May 1, 2017,
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Missile Defense Project, "KN-06 (Pon’gae-5)," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, September 8, 2017, last modified April 23, 2024,