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
Another of the three flight tests took place in September 1986.5 The missile was deployed in 1987.6
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.
Around 200 NHK-2 missiles were deployed in two South Korean Army battalions. These missiles have been stored in a reserve force since its replacement by the Hyunmoo-2A.10
- 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.”