Ballistic & Cruise Missile Threat
NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE INTELLIGENCE CENTER WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
Pagination or Media Count:
Many countries view ballistic and cruise missile systems as cost-effective weapons and symbols of national power. In addition, they present an asymmetric threat to US airpower. Many ballistic and cruise missiles are armed with weapons of mass destruction. North Korea has unveiled the new road-mobile Hwasong-13 intercontinental ballistic missile ICBM while continuing to develop the Taepo Dong-2 TD-2, which placed a satellite in orbit for the first time in December 2012. An intermediate-range ballistic missile IRBM and a new solid-propellant short-range ballistic missile SRBM are also being developed. Iran could develop and test an ICBM capable of reaching the United States by 2015. Since 2008, Iran has conducted multiple successful launches of the two-stage Safir space launch vehicle SLV and has also revealed the larger two-stage Simorgh SLV, which could serve as a test bed for developing ICBM technologies. Since 2010, Iran has revealed the Qiam-1 SRBM, the fourth-generation Fateh-110 SRBM, and claims to be mass-producing antiship ballistic missiles ASBMs. Iran has modified its Shahab 3 medium-range ballistic missile MRBM to extend its range and effectiveness and also claims to have deployed the two-stage, solid-propellant Sejjil MRBM. China has the most active and diverse ballistic missile development program in the world. It is developing and testing offensive missiles, forming additional missile units, qualitatively upgrading missile systems, and developing methods to counter ballistic missile defenses. The Chinese ballistic missile force is expanding in both size and types of missiles. China continues to field conventionally armed SRBMs opposite Taiwan, and is developing a number of new mobile, conventionally armed MRBMs. Missiles such as the CSS-5 ASBM are key components of the Chinese military modernization program, specifically designed to prevent adversary military forces access to regional conflicts.
- Guided Missiles