Saturday, December 18, 2010

North Korea Launched Nodong Missile

The North Korean Nodong is essentially the same as the Pakistani Ghauri 1 and the Iranian Shahab-3. The body of the Nodong missile is a near exact replica of the SCUD-B, except that all its major structural components are scaled to a larger size.9 The SCUD-B body diameter is 0.88 m, while the Nodong body diameter is close to 1.25 m. Thus the Nodong is larger than the SCUD-B in every dimension by a factor very close to 1.4 (we use the factor reported by Schiller and Schmucker of 1.25/0.88=1.42). The Ghauri 2 is also similar to the Nodong. The dimensions of this missile also appear to be scaled up by a factor of about 1.4, but its length-to-diameter ratio appears closer to that of the Iraqi Al Husain.

The Nodong rocket motor was first observed in North Korea in the late 1980s, and more recently Iran has released photographs of what appears to be a Nodong rocket motor (see photographs on the next page.) A drawing of what appears to be a device used in the manufacturing of that motor can be found in the Russian text book, “The Production Technology of Liquid Rocket Engines,” by V. V. Vorobey and V. E. Loginov.5 If this identification is correct, the Nodong rocket motor is an example of 1950s Russian rocket technology, very similar to that used in the SCUD-B, which was first built and deployed during the same time-period. The
Nodong motor uses the same fuel as the SCUD-B motor and its performance efficiency (exhaust velocity with altitude) is somewhat similar but lower than the Russian RD-214 engine used in the Soviet R-12 ballistic missile (known in the West as the SS-4 Sandal).6 The Nodong rocket motor has provided the enabling
foundation for Iran’s indigenous liquid-propellant ballistic missile program and for the Safir SLV. The No-Dong has a range of between 1,000 and 1,400km meaning that it can hit Seoul with ease from any location on the entire peninsula.


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