Original Version Published in AUGUST 21st, 2011. A high level source reported that North Korea, pouring renewed efforts into weapons production, completed development of a new type of hovercraft boat and an unmanned torpedo speedboat in April this year. In order to accomplish combat readiness they are already undergoing trials for actual fighting operations in the East and West seas, the source said on August 17th.
Traveling at speeds of up to 110 km an hour, 20% faster than North Korea’s existing models which can reach 90 km an hour, the hovercraft can also carry a larger crew. The source relates that the core technology is Russian and uses their MIG fighter engine has given the craft stronger propulsion capabilities. By combining the MIG fighter engine (using it as the basic engine) and other auxiliary equipment, a unique integrated hovercraft system has been produced. It has resulted in greater speed, but one defect is its lack of heavy steel armory.
Significantly, the hovercraft is able to break through the West Sea tideland as if it were still cruising over the water’s surface. The ready-to-be deployed craft is being referred to as the ‘Flying Fish’ and can transport 50~60 members of a Special Forces squadron.
Research and development of the new technology was undertaken at the National Defense Science Academy’s Number 2 Research Center, the National Science Academy’s Machine Production Research Center, the Application Research Center's Basic Commodity Offices, and Kim Chaek University of Industry's Basic Commodity Research Center. These North Korea defense department related research institutions collaborated to bring the project to completion and all that remains is production and deployment.
The source said the new craft was reported as a key military hardware product on the occasion of the rubber stamp reconfirmation of Kim Jong-il as General Party Secretary at the 3rd Party Conference in 2010. Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un themselves inspected the new military technology and the researchers involved received reward and academic recognition as payment for their successful research outcomes.
The source said 80 unmanned torpedo speedboats will be produced at the 927 Nampo base and the 313 Wonsan base by the end of December this year. Produced to commemorate Kim Jong-il’s reconfirmation as Supreme Leader, the new torpedo boat is equipped with a torpedo and uses GPS equipment which allows the unmanned and remote controlled technology to attack targets on the seabed.
And that isn’t all. In the event of the fired torpedo failing to hit its target, the vessel itself is designed to turn into a secondary torpedo. It launches itself at the attack target until it collides and explodes, earning the nickname the ‘self-destroyer’.
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