No-dong-A1 The No-Dong-A Improvements:
©By C. P. Vick, 2011/2016
Senior Technical & Space Policy Analyst
DPRK Seasonal Training Missile Flights with a New Provocative Twist
On August 3, 2016 the DPRK carried out a second set of seasonal missile training flights with the added twist of flying them cross country over its populated regions, and the DMZ area over outside of its East coastal missile range. The first launch of the two simultaneous No-Dong-A, A1 “exploded midair immediately after launch.” The second of the two launches of the No-Dong-A, A1 medium range class missile was flown from the west coastal city of Eunyul region southwestern DPRK around 7:50 A.M. South Korean time with only one being successful flying over 1,000 kilometers (over 621 statute Miles). The No-dong-A has a variable range capability from 800 to 1,000 kilometers and the improved No-dong A-1 with its propellant and tankage changes has a range of 1,300 kilometers. That single successful launch of the No-dong-A/A1 missile flew over 1,000 kilometers demonstrating it full range capability impacting in the Sea of Japan, Japan’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) waters some 250 kilometers from the “Oga” Peninsula, Akita Prefecture north east Japan inside the Japanese Air Defense Zone (ADIZ). Military officials are however not excluding that the missiles could have been the advanced extended range Scud-ER’s (Hwasong-7’s) that also have a similar range capability on the order of 1,000 kilometers but that remain unproven.
Back during July 19 th the DPRK launched two scud type missile with a range on the order of 500-600 kilometers and one No-dong-A class missile with a range of 1,000-1,300 kilometers successfully along it eastern coastal range as a part of their planned seasonal missile training flights. Both events are assumed to have been viewed by the Dear leader Jim Jung-Un as have other in recent year. The DPRK has not since 1998 impacted a racket stage or ballistic missile, warhead combination inside the Japanese Air Defense Zone of its EEZ until this last launch creating a serious provocative act over international accepted norms of conduct.
Scud-B through Scud-ER & No-dong-A Design Evoluition
No-dong-A Evolution MRBM for improved range performance and payload accuracy performance
Subsequently after the August 3, 2016 failure of one of the No-dong-A1 launch The DPRK flew only three No-dong-A1 BRV‘s missiles September 6, 2016 400 kilometers inside Japan’s “Exclusive Economic Zone” that are identical to the Iranian Shahab-3 BRV’s mods. These flights were necessitated because of one of the No-dong-A1 BRV’s failure during launch previously to be sure the quality control is reset.
Two images from the No-Dong-A1-BRV's derivations via Iran technology transfer flown into the Sea of Japan EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) and Japanese Air Defense Zone (ADIZ)
During the late Jim Jung-Il’s authoritarian rule era of some 18 years there were about 16 ballistic missile launches. Since Kim Jung-Un took office in late 2011 there has been an unprecedented 33 ballistic missiles launches. Among those were 16 shorter range (330-1,000 kilometer range) Scud C, D, ER class missiles, eight medium range (800 to 1,000 kilometers and the improved No-dong A-1 range of 1,300) missile of the No-Dong-A/A1 class, and six Hwason-10/No-dong-B (Musudan’s) range (3,500-3,860 kilometer) missiles and over four SLBM’s KN-11’s and KN-X-15’s with a range variation of (2,500 – 2,200 kilometers). The DPRK is still having issue slowing their fielding of the Hwasong-10/No-dong-B’s and KN-11 as operational available missile warhead delivery systems for their 650 kilogram nuclear warheads. These same 650 kilogram warheads are essentially applicable to the No-dong-A1 missiles that are essentially operational.
The DPRK employing on the order of perhaps 10,000 missile specialists with perhaps 100 or so top personnel is estimated by South Korean Government and intelligence organization to have cost the DPRK an estimated in excess of $97,000,000.00 but this is in terms of Western currency economics for the Western communities consumption but has no relationship to the DPRK command engineering planning and control barter State economy. That authoritarian State economy currency which has some world market value externally but it's in the internal command economy that it has essentially no real value or is essentially worthless as was the Soviet ruble in Soviet times. The DPRK dependent on an economy based in bartered resources such as facilities infrastructure, materials, national military civil labor manpower personnel, man-hours, and equipment as the trading commodity with essentially no relationship to world currency. Throw away Western economist and banker economic thinking perception which is meaningless and not applicable when considering the DPRK real economy.
Progressive in the DPRK, R&D in ballistic missile and warhead design via Iran
The No-Dong-A MRBM ballistic missile has under gone a series of evolutionary improvement from it original design embodied in the DPRK No-Dong-A the Iranian Shjahab-3 and the Pakistani Ghauri-1. Those design changes involved both lengthened propellant tankage with propellant changes. The Engine injector plated at the top of the thrust chambers were revised as well as the turbo-machinery pump speed for delivering the propellants. The propellants were changed from the original Scud based propellants of fuel consisting of TM-185 = 20% Gasoline, 80% Kerosene and Oxidizer of AK-27I = 27% N2O4 + 73% HNO3 with I odium inhibitor, Nitrogen Tetroxide & Nitric Acid to the newer UDMH Unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine propellant and oxidizer N2O4 Nitrogen Tetroxide. This change required both tankage redesign and rearrangement differences from the original design of Origin.
Among further improvement that are most pronounced is the completely improved and revised guidance system configuration in the forward part of the Iran Shahab ballistic missiles. The forward ballistic missile warheads have undergone complete redesign to improve warhead accuracy from a Cone re-entry vehicle design of origin to the Tri-conic (TRV) re-entry vehicle design with steering attitude reaction control system (RCS) thrusters and later a (BRV) ballistic re-entry vehicle. The complete rework creating the Emad warhead with its attitude control Reaction control system (RCS) and Bus mounted fin steered (GRV) guided re-entry vehicle retaining the ballistic missile guidance system throughout its flight to its target detonation.
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