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North Korea tested Solid-Fuel Missiles

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • North Korea has conducted a test of a new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), signifying a significant leap in missile technology.
  • It is a part of ongoing efforts to bolster military capabilities and establish a deterrent against potential threats.

Solid-Fuel Technology

About:

  • Solid fuel missiles utilize prepackaged propellant mixtures, including metallic fuels like aluminium and oxidizers like ammonium perchlorate.
  • The fuel and oxidizer are bound together by a robust material and encased in metal, igniting upon burning to create thrust for missile liftoff.

Advantages of Solid Fuel:

  • Faster Deployment: Minimal preparation time, as fuelling is not required, making launches harder to pre-empt.
  • Increased Survivability: Solid fuel stability enhances resistance to damage and pre-emptive strikes.
  • Easier Storage and Maintenance: Longer shelf life and reduced maintenance needs compared to liquid fuels.
  • Unpredictable Trajectories: Solid-fuel missiles can fly at unpredictable paths, changing directions, and carry multiple warheads or decoys.
Why North Korea developing these missiles

·       Deterrence against Threats: Developing solid-fuel missiles enhances North Korea’s military capabilities, serving as a deterrent against potential threats.

·       Greater Accuracy: Solid-fuel missiles improve range, payload, accuracy, and survivability of North Korea’s missile arsenal.

·       Quick Response: Enables rapid surprise attacks or swift responses in crises due to faster and less warning-dependent launches.

Missiles Launched by North Korea

·       Hwasong-17: Successfully test-fired in 2022, showcasing advancements in long-range solid-fuel missile development.

·       Hwasong-18: Another ICBM test-fired in 2023, indicating further progress in solid fuel capabilities.

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