Intensified Missile Tests By N Korea, China, India and Pakistan in 2016

  • Vishwanath Patil and Manoj G
  • 02:24 PM, January 28, 2017
  • 11699
Intensified Missile Tests By N Korea, China, India and Pakistan in 2016
No-dong-B Medium-Range Ballistic Missile

North Korea, India and Pakistan launched a total of about 37, some capable of carrying nuclear weapons in 2016 making it one the busiest years for medium-to-long-range missile tests in recent memory.

North Korea reportedly carried out about 25 medium to long range missile test launches of which just one was claimed as a success by Pyongyang. India carried out seven while Pakistan launched four, and China launched one.


North Korea started 2016 with conducting its fourth nuclear weapons test on January 6. Pyongyang announced it as a success with the detonation of a miniaturized hydrogen bomb.

On February 7, North fired a long-range rocket. It claimed that the rocket was carrying a satellite which was viewed as a front for testing an intercontinental ballistic missile by US, Japan and South Korea.

Pyongyang tested a Musudan, an intermediate-range ballistic missile on April 15, a month after the UN imposed a ban on North Korea to carry out nuclear tests and against usage of ballistic missile technology under Resolution 2270.

North Korea also fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on April 23. The missile blew up minutes after the launch. This was the second SLBM tested by North Korea.  The first one was attempted in 2015.

Later, in the same week, on April 28, Pyongyang tested two more Musadan missiles.  On May 30, North Korea carried out another Musadan launch.  All of these failed.

North Korea posted success of Musadan ICBM on June 21, after it tested two more Musadan missiles. One of them was partially successful, it claimed.

A submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) was tested on July 9 which exploded after flying for 6 miles. The test was carried out after the US agreed to equip South Korea with Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles on July 8.

Three more ballistic missiles with a range of 500 kilometers to 600 kilometers were fired on July 18. North attempted two more No Dong ballistic missile launches, this time about 124 miles off the Japanese coast.  One of them landed in the Sea of Japan. On August 24, North reportedly fired a SLBM from its eastern coast.

Three medium-range Rodong-class ballistic missiles from Hwangju were tested. North Korea conducted second in the year and fifth overall nuclear test on September 9.

South Korea's President, Park Geun-hye, called the test an act of "fanatic recklessness." President Barack Obama condemned the launch and said in a statement, "the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state."

Two nuclear-capable US bombers flew over a military base in South Korea on September 13 in a show of force meant to warn North Korea.

North Korea carried out a failed test of another Musudan ICBM test on October 15 and another on October 19. 


Pakistan successfully test fired indigenously developed Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM), Ra’ad on January 20 last year.

The missile is approximately five metres long and could weigh up to 1,000kg. Special “terrain hugging low level flight manoeuvres enable it to avoid detection and engagement by contemporary air defence systems,” according to the Inter-Services Public Relations statement.

Pakistan has test-fired a shore-based anti-ship missile, ‘Zarb’ on April 12, The maximum range allotted for the test was set at 300km.

Pakistan on December 15 conducted a successful test of an enhanced version of its indigenously developed Babur Cruise Missile

Pakistan fired a Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) Babur-3 capable of carrying a nuclear warhead from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean on January 9, 2017.


India test fired Prithvi-II ballistic missile with a payload capacity of 500-1000 kg in November 2016. The Prithvi-I will reportedly be withdrawn from service and upgraded.

India tested Agni-I ballistic missile with a range of 700 kms and payload capacity of 1000 kg in November 2016.

Agni-V ballistic missile with a range of over 5000 kms and payload capacity of 1000 kg in December 2016.

The K-4, Submarine launched Ballistic missile (SLBM) was reportedly tested twice in March 2016. The first test was on March 7, and the second on March 31. The March 31 test was the first conducted from the INS Arihant ballistic missile submarine (SSBN).

The Indian Air Force test-fired an advanced land version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on May 27, 2016. It is also capable of being launched from submarine from a depth of 40-50 metres. In 2013, it was successfully launched from a submerged platform.

Nirbhay cruise missile with an operational range of 1000 km and a payload of 450 kg launched in December 2016, the test was not successful following two failures and one partial success. The last test was conducted in 2015.


The DN-3 test took place in early December and was couched as a missile defense interceptor test in a bid by the Chinese military to mask its development of anti-satellite capabilities. 

Anti-satellite missile were detected at a military facility in central China, according to Pentagon officials familiar with reports of the impending test, FreeBeacon reported

The DN-3 is believed to be a missile capable of attacking satellites in high-earth orbit – the location of most strategic navigation and intelligence satellites, National Interest reported December 29, 2016.

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