The KN-25 is a North Korean short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) with a demonstrated range of 380 km. First tested on August 25, 2019, the “super-large” rocket blurs the distinction between multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) and short-range ballistic missiles.
KN-25 at a Glance
- Originated from
- North Korea
- Short-range ballistic missile (SRBM)
- Possessed by
- North Korea
- 0.6 m
- Launch weight
- Unknown, likely HE
- Single stage, solid propellant
- 380 km
- First tested
Little is known about the KN-25’s early development. North Korea first flight tested the system on August 25, 2019, successfully launching two missiles from the country’s east coast into the Sea of Japan. Both missiles flew approximately 380 km and reached a maximum altitude of 97 km.1
North Korea conducted a second test of the KN-25 on September 10, 2019 from Kaechon, a city in its western region. Two missiles flew eastward over North Korean territory, reaching a maximum range of 330 km and an altitude of 50 to 60 km.2
According to reports, this test was partially successful; two of the three missiles fired left their launch tubes, of which only one struck its intended target.3
North Korea test fired the system for a third time on October 31, 2019, launching two missiles which flew 370 km reaching an altitude of 90 km. A fourth test took place on November 28, 2019, in which North Korea fired two missiles approximately 380 km reaching an altitude of 97 km.
|Date||# fired||Range (km)||Altitude (km)||Interval between launches|
The KN-25 has a 380 km range and is launched from a four-tube wheeled transporter-erector-launcher (TEL). The missile appears to have four fixed rear fins and four moving forward fins for guidance. While designated a “super-large” multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) by North Korean state media, the missile’s larger size and range led the United States Forces Korea (USFK) to categorize the weapon as a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM). 4 According to USFK, the missile is 600mm in diameter.5
Relative to the missile’s width, the KN-25 appears to be approximately 8.6 meters long. No specifications on the missile’s length or guidance system have been released.
It is unknown whether the KN-25 has entered Korean People’s Army (KPA) service.
- “N. Korea says it tested new super-large multiple rocket launcher,” Yonhap News Agency, August 25, 2019, https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20190825000353325?section=nk/nk; “Successful Test-fire of Newly Developed Super-large Multiple Rocket Launcher Held under Guidance of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un,” Rodong Sinmun, August 25, 2019, http://www.rodong.rep.kp/en/index.php?strPageID=SF01_02_01&newsID=2019-08-25-0003.
- “N. Korea fires short-range projectiles toward East Sea: JCS,” Yonhap News Agency, September 10, 2019, https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20190910001055325?section=national/defense; “Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Guides Test-Fire of Super-large Multiple Rocket Launcher Again,” Rodong Sinmun, September 11, 2019, http://www.rodong.rep.kp/en/index.php?strPageID=SF01_02_01&newsID=2019-09-11-0002.
- “North Korea’s super-large multiple rocket launcher test practically failed,” Dong-A Ilbo, September 12, 2019, http://www.donga.com/en/List/article/all/20190912/1845644/1/N-Korea-s-super-large-multiple-rocket-launcher-test-practically-failed.
- “Successful Test-fire of Newly Developed Super-large Multiple Rocket Launcher Held under Guidance of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un,” 2019.
- “U.S. military code-names N. Korea’s ‘super-large multiple rocket launcher’ KN-25,” Dong-A Ilbo, September 5, 2019, http://www.donga.com/en/article/all/20190905/1839345/1/U-S-military-code-names-N-Korea-s-super-large-multiple-rocket-launcher-KN-25.