North Korea unveils Hero Kim Gun-ok nuclear submarine with a vertical launch system for 10 nuclear-tipped missiles

CC™ Global News

By Maksim Panasovskyi 

North Korea launched the Hero Kim Gun-ok nuclear submarine. Kim Jong Un attended the ceremony.

What We Know

The new North Korean submarine is not an original design. In fact, behind Hero Kim Gun-ok is a Soviet Romeo-class submarine. But it has undergone radical modernisation and changed beyond recognition. Her ship number is 841.

Hero Kim Gun-ok is equipped with a vertical launch system. It contains two rows of five cells. It is believed that the missiles will carry nuclear warheads. The conversion of the Soviet submarine into what was unveiled as the Hero Kim Gun-ok took about 10 years.

Details on armament are not yet available. Military experts speculate that the Hero Kim Gun-ok will be able to launch both ballistic and cruise missiles. At the same time, Kim Jong-un has explicitly hinted at nuclear capabilities, saying that the DPRK navy is entering a new era and improving nuclear strike capabilities against capitalist countries.

The DPRK has ballistic missiles of the Pukguksong family in service, which are designed to be launched specifically from submarines. They have a length of 9.7-10.6 metres and a diameter of 1.5-1.8 metres. The DPRK also possesses Hwasal-2 cruise missiles, which resemble the American Tomahawk.

Judging by the photos, the vertical launch system has cells of different dimeters (four large and six smaller). This implies a mixed load. For example, the Hero Kim Gun-ok can be armed with four Pukguksong ballistic missiles and six smaller missiles.

Source: Naval News