The Hwasong-7 (Hangul: 화성 7호; Hanja: 火星 7號; spelled Hwaseong-7 in South Korea), also known as Rodong-1 (Hangul: 로동 1호; Hanja: 蘆洞 1號) or Nodong-1 (Hangul: 노동 1호; Hanja: 蘆洞 1號), is a single-stage, mobile liquid propellant medium-range ballistic missile developed by North Korea. Developed in the mid-1980s, it is a scaled up adaptation of the Soviet SS-1, more commonly known by its NATO reporting name "Scud". Inventory is estimated to be around 200–300 missiles. US Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center estimates that as of June 2017 fewer than 100 launchers were operationally deployed.
One variant Rodong-1M is called Hwasong-9.
It influenced the design of Pakistan's Hatf-5/Ghauri-1 missile.
|Type||Mobile medium-range ballistic missile|
|Place of origin||North Korea|
|Warhead weight||650–1,200 kg (est.)|
|1,200–1,500 km (est.)|
|Flight altitude||160 km if in lofted trajectory which reduces the operating range to 650 km|
|Accuracy||Nodong-1 2,000–4,000 m CEP Nodong-2 250–500 m CEP|
Hwasong (Hwaseong in South Korea) is the Korean word for "firestar/Mars".
It is believed North Korea obtained Scud-B designs from Egypt, and possibly Scud-C designs from China, allowing them to reverse-engineer them into a larger and longer-distance weapon. United States reconnaissance satellites first detected this type in May 1990 at the Musudan-ri test launch facility, in northeastern North Korea.
The precise capabilities and specifications of the missile are unknown; even the fact of its production and deployment are controversial. It is a larger variant of the Scud-B, scaled up so its cross-sectional area is about double that of the Scud, with a diameter of 1.25 metres (4 ft) and a length of 15.6 metres (51 ft).
Its aerodynamic design is stable, reducing the need for modern active stabilization systems while the missile is flying in the denser lower atmosphere. It can only be fueled when vertical, therefore it cannot be fueled before transport as is normal for modern missiles. Its range is estimated as 900 km (960 mi) with a 1,000 kg payload to a range of between 1,000 km to 1,500 km. North Korea test-fired three Hwasong-7 missiles consecutively on 5 September 2016 and they all flew for about 1000 km, landing in the Japan Air Defense Identification Zone.
The Hwasong-7's technology has been exported to foreign nations (such as Iran and Pakistan) in secrecy on the basis of mutual exchange of technologies, with Iran being one of the largest beneficiaries of such technology. Successful variants were tested and deployed by Iran after developing the Shahab-3 which is roughly based on Hwasong-7.
Pakistan, however, suffered with repeated failure due to flawed design given in exchange but succeeded in reevaluating the missile's conceptual design and its electronic system in 1998. The Hatf 5 Ghauri missile eventually entered in to active military service in 2003.
Although it has an estimated range of 1,000–1,500 km (620–930 mi), launches in March 2014 flew only 650 km (400 mi). Their range was shortened by firing at a higher launch angle. The missiles flew to an altitude of 160 km (100 mi) at Mach 7. U.S. and South Korean Patriot PAC-2/3 interceptors are more specialized to hit Scud-type missiles up to 40 km high.
On 5 September 2016, North Korea fired three consecutive Rodong-1 missiles into the Sea of Japan and at a range of about 1,000 km. This marked the Rodong-1 as a credible and matured missile suitable for operational deployment since its first successful launch in 1993. The United Nations Security Council condemned North Korea's missile launches.
To enable interception at higher altitudes, South Korea is indigenously developing the long-range surface-to-air missile (L-SAM), and on 8 July 2016 the U.S. agreed to deploy one Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense system in Seongju County, in the south of South Korea, by the end of 2017.