What is the just presented North Korean new three-stage long-range missile ?

Norbert Brügge, Germany

Update: 15.03.2015

The new North-Korean missile was shown in Pyongyang during celebrations for the centennial of the birth of late North Korean founder Kim Il Sung on April 15,  2012. The TEL LRBM, made of three stages, was unveil at the military parade. The North Korean designation for this missile is Hwasong-13
It is estimated that the missile is about 18 meters long. First and second stage have a diameter of about 2 m. Then the third stage has 1.5 m diameter.
The 8-axle TEL is a Chinese special-made WS51200.

Chinese lumber transporter WS51200

The paraded six HS-13 and eight "Musudan" missiles


New: DPRK documentary film shows footage from the road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile HS-13 in an arms factory or development facility.


Analysts estimate that - at least for the first stage of the rocket - a technology of the Soviet R-27 SLBM is used (the main engine is placed inside of the fuel tank).
An application of the R-27 technology would be not a possibility because about 250 kN thrust of a R-27 engine is not enough for this monster. Two engines to combine is technically in this case impossible.

An acceptable thrust of about 500 kN has the engine of an old Russian R-29 SLBM
 (RSM-40 Vysota) with similar technology.

My analysis

Not a crazy proposal


A very impossible version of the KN-08:

  Charles Vick is in conformity with me:


Attention analysts, the missile is certainly not yet complete, but not fake!

I think that the KN-08 is not a fake, and North Korea working on developing a LRBM. The technology is based on a proven (!!) template. North Korea does not have the know-how and financial resources to develop such a complicated missile with new liquid rocket engines.

With high probability is the technology not Chinese. China has never developed a "submerged engine" technology, or used. Furthermore, it is against China's doctrine such significant potential of rocket technology to export. China has supplied only complete missiles to Pakistan and Saudi-Arabia (Shaheen, DF-3).
The delivery of the large TELs to North Korea must based on a "misjudgment".

Note: UN investigators recently concluded that North Korea had six Chinese lumber transporter WS51200 bought, and in TELs (Transporter Erector Launchers) for its KN-08 ballistic missiles converted.

The noted differences between the rockets - missing retro-rockets, different length of cable ducts and different positions of covers - are optical illusions or evidence for the incompleteness of the rocket. A slightly shifted retaining band on one rocket (No. 218) is not relevant for the analysis.

But a puzzle for my proposal is the interrupted cable duct between first and second stage. Why is this interruption on No.18 so short?  It is impossible to find an interstage section.

216 216 218 218

Cable duct comparison

Want they to confuse us, or is it a mock-up. Is it really a mock-up, then has but this missile a serious technological background.

Analysts argue that the use of UDMH/N2O4 as fuel for the road-mobile missile KN-08 is no option because the risk is not acceptable. But the refueling would be possible before the launch in the erect position !


New interisting details: Weldings, small nozzle, inlet for drain " fuel pump"
Source: armscontrolwonk.com


Soviet RSM-40 (Vysota) propulsion

RSM-40 (Vysota) first stage engine 3D37

RSM-40 (Vysota) second stage engine 3D38

   The HS-13 on the parade on July 26, 2013

The same vehicles as in 2012, but in a new outfit



New details on the reinforced tank sections  in which depends the combustor of the second stage



Some thoughts on the construction of the HS-13:

If the HS-13 is in fact a RSM-40 "Vysota", there are several different changes in the area of the fuel tanks.
Between first and second stage two reinforced tank segments are inserted by about 0.5 and 1.0 m length.

After burning out of the first stage the separation of the second stage is carried between these segments. That means, the upper segment with its cable duct, is solid connected with the second stage.

This is different from the RSM-40 in which the separation takes place above the combustion chamber of the second stage, out of a continuous first stage tank.

The two hatches are not indicative of a interstage between two stages. In the fabrication of the Russian SLBM there are numerous openings in the tanks (left: RSM-50 "Volna").

The cable duct is in contrast to the 40-RSM in fact interrupted. There is obviously a different solution for the electrics.

The striking detail at the upper segment placed, is a mechanism for releasing the temporary fixing of the second stage combustor.

What experts say:

Analysis by Schmucker Technologie, Germany:
"A Dog And Pony Show"
Addendum KN-08 Analysis

 NBC News, August 15, 2013
“A big hoax”: Experts say North Korea showing off missiles that can not fly

Authors: Robert Windrem and M.L. Flynn
(Robert Windrem is a senior investigative producer for NBC News; M.L. Flynn is senior producer of editorial strategy for NBC News. She traveled with NBC News National and International Correspondent Ann Curry to Pyongyang last month)

NBC News asked U.S. government experts and independent military analysts, in the U.S. and overseas, to examine high-resolution images of the Musudan medium-range missile and the ICBM, known as the Hwasong-13, taken at the July 27 military parade.

The experts, who spoke on condition of anonymity, would not discuss the methods used to make their determination !

“My opinion is that it’s a big hoax” said Markus Schiller, an aerospace engineer in Munich, to the intercontinental and medium-range missiles displayed in the North Korean capital in April 2012 and again two weeks ago.
For example, he noted, there was no evidence on the rear of the Hwasong-13 of retro rockets necessary to separate the stages - critical if an ICBM is to reach sub-orbital space and strike distant targets.
Schiller also said varied features on the rockets - such differing placement of small guidance nozzles and hatches - are telling. They make him believe that these are not even training "simulators" but "crude fakes."

A photo montage (right) from a July 26, 2013, military parade shows a purported Hwasong-13, with the area where retro-rockets should be mounted highlighted, along with close-ups showing that forward nozzles on the rocket bodies of two individual missiles were placed in different positions.

My comment: The "retro-rockets" are not retro-rockets ! Why should be retro-rockets inside attached. Therefore, it must have another function. Normally, two indentations are side by side. On both images is mysteriously only one different of two indentations present.
Nevertheless, there is no reason to dismiss the vehicle as a hoax. Such a hassle for a fake? Never.

Quote: "Retro-rockets were placed in different positions"