North Korea develops KN-23 Iskander-like ballistic missile

North Korea has performed a series of ballistic missile tests. The last test performed on August 6 demonstrated technology related to a new tactical guided missile.

North Korea develops KN 23 Iskander like tactical ballistic missile
9T250 loading vehicle for Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile system (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

The KN-23 appears similar to the Russian-designed 9K720 Iskander (SS-26 Stone) theater tactical ballistic missile. The missile flew over the capital area and the central inland region. The missile hit a target island in the East Sea, according to the North Korean government. North Korean officials said seven of eight recent KN-23 launches were successful.

The 9K720 Iskander is a mobile short-range ballistic missile system produced and deployed by the Russian Federation. The missile systems are to replace the obsolete OTR-21 Tochka systems, still in use by the Russian armed forces, by 2020. The Iskander has several different conventional warheads, including a cluster munitions warhead, a fuel-air explosive enhanced-blast warhead, a high explosive-fragmentation warhead, an earth penetrator for bunker-busting and an electromagnetic pulse device for anti-radar missions. The missile can also carry nuclear warheads. In September 2017, the KB Mashinostroyeniya (KBM) general designer Valery M. Kashin said that there were at least seven types of missiles (and "perhaps more") for Iskander, including one cruise missile.


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