Thanks to Russia North Korea soon may have its first naval cruise missile – Technology Org

North Korea is a highly militarized country, which doesn’t shy away from threatening the United States and the Western world in general. It has nuclear weapons, it has a deep-rooted military dictatorship, it has a huge military and it has no reluctance when it comes to saber rattling. But it doesn’t have naval cruise missiles. That may change though as it is believed that Russia may provide North Korea with a Kalibr missile technology.

A mockup of a Kalibr cruise missile.

A mockup of a Kalibr cruise missile. Image credit: Allocer via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

North Korea may not be modern, but it is heavily armed. Even its navy is actually quite large. It is believed that around 60 thousand people are serving in the Korean People’s Navy, but the actual number might be even higher – that wouldn’t surprise anyone.

North Korea has over 70 submarines. And yes, they are of older designs, but that’s a large number. The North Korean Navy also has several corvettes, missile crafts, and large patrol boats. Of course, naturally, North Korea also has a large number of landing craft, since many of the countries it considers hostile are actually seas and oceans away.

On March 12 North Korea started its first-ever testing of ship-launched cruise missiles. A couple of days later, 8.24 Yongung, the largest submarine designed and built for the Korean People’s Navy, fired two cruise missiles.

This submarine, by the way, is almost like a testing platform for North Korea’s Navy, because on October 19, 2021, the 8.24 Yongung submarine conducted a launch of a ballistic missile apparently based on the KN-23.

An export variant of the Kalibr missile.

An export variant of the Kalibr missile. Image credit: Allocer via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Defense Express reports that those cruise missiles could have been based on the Russian Kalibr family. Russia does launch Kalibr missiles from its own submarines all the time – Ukraine has suffered from it multiple times. There is a possibility that the 8.24 Yongung is technologically related to Soviet/Russian submarines and was modernized to fire Kalibr missiles.

The Kalibr missile is significantly smaller than a ballistic missile and can be launched from the top torpedo tubes (only if they come up above the waterline). Special launchers for them can also be made.

Why do journalists think North Korea is using Kalibr missiles? Well, it is no secret that North Korea has two close friends – Russia and China. Developing naval cruise missiles is very difficult if you do not have technological support. Would it be from China or Russia? Doesn’t matter, because China uses its own copy of the Kalibr missile 2, under the designation YJ-18. In fact, the YJ-18 is the primary cruise missile for China’s submarines.

This is bad news. If North Korea can now produce Kalibr missiles, its navy is becoming more dangerous. Depending on the version, the Kalibr cruise missile has a range of 200-2500 km. In fact, a 4500 km Calibr is currently in development. This, combined with the sneakiness of submarines make this a highly concerning turn of events.

Sources: , Wikipedia

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