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 at a Glance
Originated from: North Korea
Possessed by: North Korea
Class: Short-range Ballistic Missile (SRBM)
Basing: Road mobile, tracked transporter-erector launcher
Propulsion: Single-stage, liquid propulsion
Range: 450+ km
Status: 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.1 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 features distinctive forward fins, presumably to add a terminal guidance capability for increased maneuverability and accuracy. During its flight test, the missile demonstrated a range of around 450 km, but it is likely capable of exceeding this based on 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
- “Is North Korea Working Toward a ‘Carrier Killer’ Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile?” Ankit Panda, The Diplomat, April 18, 2017, http://thediplomat.com/2017/04/is-north-korea-working-toward-a-carrier-killer-anti-ship-ballistic-missile/.
- 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/.