Photos of North Korea’s Newest Monster Missile - The Drive
Rocket man poses a genuine threat. Make what you will of their willingness to use it. But they now have the ability to hit any American or Asian target city. For now that would be a conventional or chemical warhead. Development of nuclear warheads for this missile and a much smaller submarine launched missile continues.
There is no denying it, the HS-15 is a huge missile that dwarfs the HS-14 in girth and likely in length as well. Upon quick examination, the HS-15 looks like it uses two main engine nozzles instead of the one found on the HS-14. It also features a full diameter second stage as opposed to the tapered one on the HS-14.
The nose cone design is of special interest. It is much broader than its predecessor and features the blunt nose shape that North Korea has been showing for years but has never test flown—until now. The missile seems large enough to potentially be able to accommodate multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) or one large nuclear device.
If these numbers are correct, then if flown on a standard trajectory rather than this lofted trajectory, this missile would have a range of more than 13,000 kilometers (km) (8,100 miles). This is significantly longer than North Korea’s previous long range tests, which flew on lofted trajectories for 37 minutes (July 4) and 47 minutes (July 28). Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C., and in fact any part of the continental United States.
We do not know how heavy a payload this missile carried, but given the increase in range it seems likely that it carried a very light mock warhead. If true, that means it would be incapable of carrying a nuclear warhead to this long distance, since such a warhead would be much heavier.