Saturday, March 17, 2012

N. Korean and Iranian Missile Test

This week North Korea announced a missile test to put a satellite in orbit in what everyone know is a ballistic missile test that has the world up in arms.  What I do not think anyone has brought up is that it will also be a test for the Iranians. The North Korean No-Dong and Taep'o-dong series is being developed in
parallel with the Iranian Shahab series of long range missiles.  The No-Dong and Shahab 3 have a range 1350km/839 miles with a payload of 2550 lbs.  The longer range Taep'o 1 and Shahab 4 when using three stage rocket have a range of  2475km/1538 miles with a 500lbs payload.  However dropping to two stage the range is still 2000km/1243 miles with a 1000 kilogram/2205 lbs payload which is much more useful in military terms.  It is believed that Korea and Iran are testing the Taep 2 and Shahab 5 with a 3500km/2175 miles range with a 1000kg/2205 lbs payload.

While both countries latest missiles have ranges greater than what I have listed their throw weight at those ranges is small.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 lbs.  While useful in a bomb not so much which these weapons can only target cities. 

The FAS has a great overview of both countries missile programs.