South Korea plans to conduct tests of new local-made submarine-launched ballistic missile

According to information published by the Yonhap News Agency on January 13, 2021, South Korea plans to conduct tests of its new local-made submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in 2021, after successfully tests of the surface-to-surface version.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Test-launched surface-to-surface Hyunmoo-2A Ballistic Missile. (Picture source Republic of Korea Armed Forces)

The new submarine-launched ballistic missile developed by the South Korean defense industry is based on the surface-to-surface Hyunmoo-2B ballistic missile.

A submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) is a ballistic missile capable of being launched from submarines. Modern variants usually deliver multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) each of which carries a nuclear warhead and allows a single launched missile to strike several targets. Submarine-launched ballistic missiles operate in a different way from submarine-launched cruise missiles.

The Hyunmoo is a series of short-range ballistic missiles fully designed and developed by the South Korean Defense Industry. The Hyunmoo-1 was first tested by South Korea in 1986 with a payload of 480 kg and a range of 180 km.

The Hyunmoo-2B ballistic missile is an upgraded variant of the previous version that into service with South Korea in late 2009. The missile has now a range of 500 km. The missile is propelled by solid-fueled and two-stage solid rocket motor

The Hyunmoo-2B features inertial guidance and control system that can reach the heart of its intended targets under any weather conditions without any commands from the ground after the fire. The missile has a length of 12 m, a diameter of 0.9 m, and has a launch weight of 5,400 kg. The missile can be equipped with HE (High Explosive) or submunitions warhead with a maximum payload of 997 kg.

According to the Missile Threat website, a new variant of the Hyunmoo-2B missile has been developed that can be launched from a submarine and will be mounted aboard the latest generation of attack submarine Jangbogo-III (KSS-III), currently under construction for the South Korean Navy.

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