The NHK-2 (Nike Hercules Korea II) is a South Korean, short-range, solid-fueled ballistic missile. It was the first ballistic missile indigenously produced in South Korea to be deployed. It has a standard range of 180 km, but with modification this can be increased to 250 km. The missile’s longer range and ability to carry a submunitions warhead differentiates it from the NHK-1.
NHK-2 at a Glance
- Originated from
- South Korea
- Possessed by
- South Korea
- Alternative name
- Short-range ballistic missile (SRBM)
- >12 m
- 0.8 m
- Launch weight
- 5,400 kg
- Unitary warhead, 490 kg
- High explosive (HE), submunitions
- Two-stage solid propellant
- 180-250 km
- Operational (stored in reserve force)
- In service
South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development began work on the NHK-2 shortly after its successful test of the NHK-1 ballistic missile in September 1978.1
Like its predecessor, the NHK-2 derives its name from the U.S. MIM-14 Nike Hercules.2
Work on the missile program accelerated following a North Korean assassination attempt on South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan in 1983 and North Korea’s 1984 Scud missile test.3 South Korea conducted the first of three successful flight tests in 1985.4
The NHK-2 reportedly had a length of over 12 m, a diameter of 0.8 m, and a launch weight of approximately 5,400 kg. The missile was solid-fueled and two-staged.7 The missile was capable of carrying a 490 kg high explosive or submunitions warhead.8 As mandated by the 1979 US-ROK Memorandum of Agreement, the missile kept to a standard range of 180 km. However, simple modifications could increase its range to 250 km.9
The NHK-2’s longer range and ability to carry submunitions differentiates it from its NHK-1 predecessor.
- 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.
- Dinshaw Mistry, “South Korea, Taiwan, Arab States: Restrained Regional Missile Programs” in “Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategic Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control,” (USA: University of Washington Press, 2003), 93.
- “South Korea: Missile,” Nuclear Threat Initiative, April 2016, http://www.nti.org/learn/countries/south-korea/delivery-systems/.
- Mistry, 93.
- “Nike-Hercules variant (NHK-1/2 or Hyon Mu 1 and 2,” in IHS Jane’s Weapons: Strategic 2015-2016, ed. James C. O’Halloran (United Kingdom: IHS, 2015), 68-69.
- Keck, “North Korea Isn’t the Only Korea with Killer Missiles.”
- Anthony H. Cordesman, “Korean Missile Forces,” CSIS, November 7, 2016, https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/publication/161108_AHC_Korean_Missile_Forces.pdf.
- NTI, “South Korea: Missile.”