The North Korean Hwasong-10 ("Musudan") missile is based on the Soviet R-27 SLBM

Norbert Brügge, Germany

Update: 15.07.2017

2017, July 14 (new images from video)

2017, April 15 (parade)


Possibly container launching variant


In 2003 it was reported that North Korea working on a new missile, is based on the
Soviet R-27 submarine-launched missile. North Korea was thought to have acquired the technology sometime between 1992 and 1998.
In 2004 it was reported that prior the parade on 09 September 2003 some of missiles were in preparation. Although the missiles were not featured in the celebrations, they were noticed by Western intelligence, which prompted the news reports a few days later. In 2007 it was established that North Korea had fully deployed the missile in it road-mobile-mode.
By March 2009 it had been realized that the missile was deployed in North Korea as a separate strategic rocket forces military division charged with it deployment. The reported 1.5 m diameter is indeed consistent with that of the Soviet R-27 SLBM, but the reported length of about 12 meters was a bit puzzling. The R-27 had a total length of 8.75 meters, and a total length without warhead of 7.1 meters.
Recently was shown the "Musudan" at the parade on 15 April 2012, with eight involved vehicles.
Note: The presented North Korean missile that is similar a R-27 SLBM has an official name Hwasong-10 (HS-10).

2016, June 21 -- South Korean and U.S. military officials have said the North launched what appeared to be two intermediate-range missiles dubbed Musudan. The first of the two was considered a failure. The second reached a high altitude before plunging into the sea about 400 km away, they said. The KCNA report said the missile flew to the maximum height of 1,413. 6 kilometers before landing 400 kilometers away in waters the North had targeted. KCNA news agency said, referring to the missile as a "Hwasong-10". That was the first successful launch, but the failures are predominant. They do not yet master the engine.


HS-10 in launch position on June 21, 2016




Nose cone test

PYONGYANG, 2016, April 09 -- The official KCNA news agency has reported the successful test of the "heavy-lift engine"
 of a new-type  intercontinental ballistic rocket. Meanwhile were also published pictures from the test of this new engine for
 the announced long-range missile. The ground test conducted at the Sohae Space Center. It is unclear when the test took place.

HS-10 engine in action

Nose cone



Comparison between the Soviet R-27 SLBM and "Musudan"

"HS-10" calculation on base of a stretched R-27U



Thrust s.l.

Isp s.l.

Thrust vac

Isp vac


Burn time

Flow rate

Total Imp












233.9 2638 257.4 2903 UDMH/
17.55 170 0.0887 49.2
 Verniers (2) 29.4 2020 32.3 2216 0.0146

Latest pictures of the vehicle on the parade in 2012, April 15

Spectacular images from the rear of a R-27 SLBM