North Korea has revealed it’s latest submarine, a “tactical nuclear attack submarine”. The new submarine has been named “Hero Kim Gun-ok” and given the hull number 841. Our analysis indicates that it will be armed with ten missiles. Kim Jong Un was present for the launch of the North Korean Navy’s (KPN) latest submarine on September 6. The new submarine is actually a rebuilt Soviet-designed Romeo Class boat, but radically modernized.
Significantly, the submarine has a missile compartment added with 10 missile tubes. Given the Hermit Kingdom’s investment in ballistic missiles, it is likely that these are nuclear capable.
The modification to the Romeo class submarine is so extensive that it almost appears to be a new boat. The new missile compartment, with two rows of five missile hatches, is in a section built into the sail. The bow has been shortened, reshaped and the diving planes moved to the sail.
We can speculate that the missiles are the Pukguksong family of submarine launched ballistic missiles. These are between 9.7 and 10.6 meters long and 1.5 and 1.8 meters in diameter depending on the exact version. The missile hatches however appear smaller, either for a shorter ranged ballistic missile first seen in October 2021, or for a cruise missile. North Korea has recently shown the ‘Hwasal-2′ cruise missile which approximates the U.S. Navy’s famous Tomahawk weapon.
From an initial analysis of the available imagery, it is also possible that the leading four missile tubes are a larger diameter than the rear six. This would imply a mixed load of four Pukguksong missiles and six of a smaller type.