In April 2016, North Korea displayed a new variant of Scud with a maneuvering reentry vehicle (MaRV). Its first known test on May 28, 2017 was considered a success. The U.S. government has designated the missile as the KN-18.
KN-18 (Scud MaRV) at a Glance
- Originated from
- North Korea
- Short-range ballistic missile (SRBM)
- Possessed by
- North Korea
- Road mobile, tracked transporter erector launcher (TEL)
- Single-stage, liquid propellant
- 450+ km
- In development
- In service
- First appeared April 15, 2017
North Korea first displayed the KN-18 at its annual military parade in Pyongyang on April 16, 2017, where the missile was seen carried on a tracked transporter erector launcher.
Its first known flight test occurred on May 28, 2017. An apparent success, the missile flew around 450 kilometers before landing in the Sea of Japan.
The KN-18 incorporates a liquid-fueled ‘Scud’ booster with a finned maneuvering warhead. According to North Korean state media, the warhead features a “precision control guidance system” with a claimed accuracy of 7 m circular error probable (CEP).1 During its flight test, the missile demonstrated a range of roughly 450 km, but may be capable of exceeding this given the ranges of North Korea’s other single-stage Scud variants.
It was initially speculated North Korea’s MaRV Scud variant had been designated KN-17 by the U.S. government. However, it is now apparent that the KN-17 is the U.S. designation for North Korea’s Hwasong-12, an intermediate-range ballistic missiles which North Korea successfully tested on May 14, 2017.2
- Ankit Panda, “North Korea Introduces a New ‘Ultra-Precision’ Scud Missile Variant: First Takeaways,” The Diplomat, May 30, 2017.
- Ankit Panda, “Exclusive: North Korea Tested Its New Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile 3 Times in April 2017,” The Diplomat, June 3, 2017, http://thediplomat.com/2017/06/exclusive-north-korea-tested-its-new-intermediate-range-ballistic-missile-3-times-in-april-2017/.