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Hwasong-17: North Korea’s New ‘Monster Missile’


North Korea said it test fired its massive new Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), in what analysts said may be the first successful launch of the system after doubts were raised about earlier claims.


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. How big is North Korea’s Hwasong-17 ‘monster missile’?
  2. How far can it fly?
  3. Design

How big is North Korea’s Hwasong-17 ‘monster missile’?

  • The Hwasong-17 is nuclear-armed North Korea’s biggest missile yet, and is the largest road-mobile, liquid-fuelled ICBM in the world.
  • Its diameter is estimated to be between 2.4 and 2.5 metres, and its total mass, when fully fuelled, is likely somewhere between 80,000 and 110,000 kg, according to 38 North, a U.S.-based programme that monitors North Korea.
  • Unlike North Korea’s earlier ICBMs, the Hwasong-17 is launched directly from a transporter, erector, launcher (TEL) vehicle with 11 axles, photos by state media showed.

How far can it fly?

  • The missile launched, flew nearly 1,000 km (621 miles) for about 69 minutes and reached a maximum altitude of 6,041 km, state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
  • Japanese Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the weapon could travel as far as 15,000 km (9,320 miles), enough to reach the continental United States.
  • The Hwasong-17’s size has prompted analysts to speculate that it will be designed to carry multiple warheads and decoys to better penetrate missile defences.
  • Some observers said that the satellite technology that North Korea claimed to have tested in the Feb 27 and March 5 launches could also be used for a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) system, potentially allowing a single missile to drop nuclear warheads on different targets.

-Source: Indian Express

December 2023