The No Dong 2 is a medium-range, road-mobile, liquid propellant, single warhead, ballistic missile. It is believed to be an improved version of the No Dong 1 missile which traces its lineage to the ‘Scud C’ missile. The No dong 2 is believed to have a smaller warhead, a longer range, and better accuracy, although precise differences are speculative. It is likely that Chinese scientists worked directly with North Korea to build the No dong 2, though it is possible that it was designed domestically using PRC assistance and technology provided on earlier missile projects.
The capabilities of the No Dong 2 missile are such that it can effectively be used against both military and civilian targets. Its range is sufficient to put parts of Japan well within range. Unlike the No-dong 1, it has sufficient accuracy to be used against some military targets, though the accuracy is still low enough that the missile would most likely be deployed against civilian population centers or other large, soft targets. The No Dong 2 is mobile and easily concealable, thus making it difficult to destroy prior to launch.
This missile is a longer range variant of the No Dong 1. The physical characteristics are presumed to be similar to the No Dong 1, though there are likely structural changes which account for the increased range and accuracy. It is believed to be 1.36 m in diameter. The payload is probably lighter than the payload of the No Dong 1 (1200 kg), but it may vary depending upon the missile’s intended range. The maximum range is believed to be 1500 km. The accuracy is reported to be 250-500 m CEP, an accuracy not sufficient for attacking hardened targets. If equipped similarly to its predecessor, the No Dong 2 would likely be able to deploy HE-unitary, chemical, submunitions, or medium-yield nuclear warheads. It is believed to be launched from a converted Russian Transporter-Erecter-Launcher (TEL) vehicle design or converted North Korean tanks and trucks. The missile’s accuracy probably relies on an inertial guidance system and RV-based motors and fins, but it may be improved by the addition of a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system.
It is believed that development of the No Dong 1 began in the mid-1980s, with the first flight test occurring in May 1990. The No Dong 1 missiles had entered active service by 1995 and are built in underground production facilities. The exact status of the No Dong 2 is unknown, but it is likely operational. One report suggests that it may be the same system as the Musudan (BM-25). Like many North Korean missile projects, the No Dong project was accomplished in conjunction with both Pakistan and Iran. The Pakistani Ghauri 1/2 and the Iranian Shahab-3 are all strikingly similar to the No Dong 1/2, and it is believed that these foreign missiles rely on North Korean technology and possibly employ North Korean components. 1
- Lennox, Duncan. “No Dong 1/2.” Jane’s Strategic Weapon Systems (Offensive Weapons). September 11, 2012. (accessed September 12, 2012). ↩