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 Zweefvoertuig Hwasong-16B infographic
Graphic shows Hwasong-16B hypersonic glide vehicle.


Zweefvoertuig Hwasong-16B

By Duncan Mil

April 3, 2024 - According to state media, North Korea has successfully test-fired a new mid- to long-range hypersonic missile. The solid-fuel Hwasong-16B is faster to deploy than liquid-fuel variants.

North Korean authorities released imagery and videos of the Hwasong-16B along with an official release a day after the launch. The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, attended the launch near Pyongyang; other senior officials were also present.

The official North Korean statement says that the missile “reached its first peak at the height of 101.1 kilometers (just over 62.8 miles) and the second at 72.3 kilometers (close to 45 miles) while making a 1,000-km-long flight (just over 621 miles) as scheduled to accurately hit the waters of the East Sea of Korea -- also known as the Sea of Japan.”

North Korea claims the Hwasong-16B test has two peak altitudes aligning with hypersonic boost-glide vehicles’ operation.

After release, the boost-glide vehicle travels to its target along a relatively shallow atmospheric flight path at hypersonic speeds, generally above Mach 5 (6,000km/h).

Kim reportedly oversaw a solid-fuel engine test on March 19 in preparation for this week’s launch.

PUBLISHED: 03/04/2024; STORY: Graphic News