Notable Missile TestsLast updated on 5/22/2017
- Late 1930s and early 1940s: The V-1, also known as the “flying bomb”, was tested by Nazi Germany. The V-1 operated similarly to a modern day cruise missile. Germany launched a limited number of the V-1s during World War II.
- October 1942: The V-2, the first long-range ballistic missile, was successfully tested by Nazi Germany. Throughout the Second World War, Germany employed the V-2 to launch strikes on targets throughout Western Europe, including London.
- August 1957: Russia claims to have successfully tested The R-7, the first Intercontinental-range Ballistic Missile (ICBM).
- October 1957: Sputnik is successfully put into orbit using a long-range rocket.
- August 1957: Burya, a long-range cruise missile flies for the first time.
- February 1961: The R-16 ICBM flies its first test mission.
- January 1965: The R-36 ICBM is launched from silo for the first time.
- February 1966: Russia’s first solid fueled ICBM, the RT-2, flies its first test mission.
- October 1967: The first RT-20P mobile ICBM is launched. A large number of launches were unsuccessful.
- December 1976: The first Soviet submarine launch of a solid propelled missile takes place.
- January 1984: The first railroad-based RT-23 ICBM (version 15Zh52) is tested.
- December 1994: Topol-M ICBM flies its first test mission.
- 1996: Iskander short-range missile is launched for the first time.
- April 1998: R-36M2 ICBM with 10 MIRV warheads successfully strikes all of its targets during test.
- July 2001: The R-29RL carrying the solar-sailing spacecraft launched from a submerged nuclear submarine.
- December 2004: The Topol-M ICBM is launched from a mobile launcher.
- May 2007: the RS-24, which is capable of carrying multiple warheads flies a test mission.
The United States
- April 1946: The first A-4 (V-2) was fired from white sands New Mexico.
- July 1948: The first MX-774 was unsuccessfully test fired.
- March 1957: The first Jupiter IRBM was unsuccessfully tested.
- September 1957: Thor IRBM fails during launch attempt.
- December 1957: The Atlas ICBM flies its first successful test mission.
- January 1958: A prototype of Polaris A-1 submarine-launched missile flew the first test.
- January 1958: Jupiter rocket launches the Explorer-1, the first U.S. satellite.
- February 1959: Titan I missile was successfully tested.
- September 1959: The minuteman I (America’s first solid fueled) ICBM was successfully tested.
- May 1962: The first submarine-launch of a live nuclear-tipped missile takes place.
- April 1969: The minuteman III launches from a silo for the first time.
- August 1970: The Poseidon C-3 ICBM becomes the first solid fueled rocket to be launched from a submarine.
- January 1977: The first Trident I C-4 SLBM flies a test mission from a surface pad.
- April 1979: Trident I flies its first test mission from a submerged submarine.
- June 1983: The MX peacekeeper ICBM is tested.
- October 1987: The first Small ICBM (SICBM) (Midgetman) is tested.
KN-11 (Polaris-1, Bukkeukseong-1)
- August 24, 2016 – A KN-11 launched from a sub-surface submarine and travelled 500 km.
- July 9, 2016 – A KN-11 was launched and reached an altitude of 10 km before exploding.
- April 23, 2016 – Test launch of a solid-fuel SLBM in the Sea of Japan.
- April 8, 2016 – Test launch of an SLBM.
- March 16, 2016 – Land-test of the KN-11 SLBM.
- December 21, 2016 – Failed test launch of the KN-11 SLBM. Was reported as a successful launch by North Korea after its fourth nuclear explosion test in January 2016.
- November 28, 2015 – Failed test launch of the KN-11 SLBM.
- May 8, 2015 – Test launch of the KN-11 SLBM from a submersible barge.
- April 22, 2015 – Test launch of KN-11 SLBM reported by 38 North.
- January 23, 2015 – Flight test of the KN-11 from a sea-based platform.
- December 21, 2014 – Test launch of the KN-11.
May 21, 2017 – The second test of the Polaris-2. The missile reached an altitude of 560 km and flew around 500 km before falling into the Sea of Japan.
- February 12, 2017 – The first test of the Polaris-2, that was cold-launched from a tracked TEL. The missile reached an altitude of 550 km and flew east for 500 km before falling into the Sea of Japan.
- September 5, 2016 – Three No-Dong missiles launched from TELs, each traveling around 1,000 km.
- August 3, 2016 – Two No-Dong missiles launched from TELs. One exploded shortly after launch, but the second landed in the sea within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
- July 19, 2016 – One No-Dong and two Scud missiles launched from TELs.
- March 18, 2016 – Two medium-range missiles, believed to be No-Dong, were launched from TELs and flew about 800 km.
- March 25, 2014 – Two No-Dong missiles were launched and travelled almost 650 km before landing in the sea.
- July 4, 2009 – Believed to have launched two No-Dong and five Hwasong-6 missiles that each flew about 420 km.
- July 5, 2006 – Six missiles were launched, one was the Taepodong-2 and the other five were believed to be a mixture of No-Dong and Hwasong-6 missiles.
- May 29, 1993 – First successful test launch of two No-Dong missiles that travelled about 550 km.
- May 1990 – Failed flight test of the No-Dong.
- October 20, 2016- Another failed test of the Musudan that took place in Kusong. A U.S. expert, Jeffrey Lewis, stated the test could have potentially involved the KN-08.
- October 14, 2016-Failed launch took place in Kusong. Projectile exploded right after launch. A U.S. expert, Jeffrey Lewis, stated the test could have potentially involved the KN-08.
- June 22, 2016 – Successful launch of two Musudan missiles. One travelled 400 km after reaching an altitude of over 1,000 km.
- May 31, 2016 – Fourth failed launch attempt of the Musudan missile.
- April 28, 2016 – Failed launch attempt of two Musudan missiles.
- April 15, 2016 – First launch attempt of a Musudan missile that ended in failure.
May 14, 2017 – The first successful launch of the Hwasong-12. The missile reached an altitude over 2,000 km and travelled 787 km before landing in the Sea of Japan. North Korea stated the missile tested and verified the country’s capability to carry “a large size heavy nuclear warhead,” and the reentry vehicle’s ability to survive reentry.
- April 29, 2017 – A test launch of the KN-17 missile that was assessed to be a failure. It was reported the missile only traveled about 35 km.
- April 16, 2017 – Believed to be the second attempted launch of the Hwasong-12 ballistic missile. The missile exploded shortly after launch.
- April 5, 2017 – Believed to be the first attempted launch of the Hwasong-12 ballistic missile. The test is believed to have ended in failure after the missile traveled 60 km before it spun out of control and crashed into the Sea of Japan.
Hwasong-5 (Scud-B Variant)
- July 26, 2014 – Test launch of a Scud missile that travelled about 500 km, likely the Hwasong-5 short-range missile.
- July 13, 2014 – Test launch of two, likely, Hwasong-5 missiles.
- July 9, 2014 – Test launch of two Hwasong-5 missiles.
- June 29, 2014 – Test launch of two Hwasong-5 missiles.
- March 3, 2014 – Test launch of two short-range missiles that travelled about 500 km, like the Hwasong-5.
- February 27, 2014 – Test launch of four short-range missiles that flew about 200 km and are believed to have been Hwasong-5 missiles.
- April and September 1984 – Six Hwasong-5 missiles, three in April and three in September, were the first confirmed flight tests and are reported to have had a 50% success rate.
- April 1982 – First reported flight test of an “indigenously modified Scud”.
Hwasong-6 (Scud-C Variant)
- July 19, 2016 – Two Scud and one No-Dong launched from TELs.
- March 10, 2016 – Launched two short-range missiles, believed to be Scuds, and flew about 500 km.
- July 4, 2009 – Test launched five Hwasong-6 and two No-Dong missiles that each flew about 420 km.
- July 5, 2006 – Six missiles were launched, one was the Taepodong-2 and the other five were believed to be a mixture of Hwasong-6 and No-Dong missiles.
- June 1991 – Hwasong- 6 missile launched.
- June 1990 – First reported successful flight test of the Hwasong-6.
- May 1986 – First test launch of the Hwasong-6.
- March 6, 2017 – Four Scud-D (Scud-ER) ballistic missiles were launched flying over 1,000 km.
- August 31, 1998 – The only launch of this missile that North Korea claims placed a satellite into orbit, but this is disputed by the international community.
- February 7, 2016 – The space-launch version, the Unha-3, successfully placed the Kwamongsong-3 satellite into orbit.
- December 12, 2012 – The space-launch version, the Unha-3, successfully placed the Kwamongsong-3 satellite into orbit.
- April 12, 2012 – Failed launch of the space-launch version, called the Unha-3.
- April 5, 2009 – Test launch of the Taepodong-2, in a space-launch configuration, called the Unha-2, that travelled around 3,800 km and landed in the Pacific Ocean east of Japan.
- July 5, 2006 – First attempt to launch the Taepodong-2 missile that failed 40 seconds into its flight. Five other missiles were also launched believed to be a mixture of Hwasong-6 and No-Dong missiles.
Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles
- June 14, 2015 – Launch of three KN-01 anti-ship cruise missiles.
- May 9, 2015 – Launch of three KN-01 anti-ship cruise missiles.
- February 7, 2015 – Test launch of the Russian KH-35 anti-ship cruise missile, Kim Jong-un attended the test.
- July 2, 2009 – Believed test launch of four KN-01 short-range cruise missiles.
- June 7, 2007 – Believed test launch of two short-range anti-ship cruise missiles.
- April 1, 2003 – Conflicting reports of a test launch of a short-range anti-ship cruise missile.
- March 10, 2003 – Test launch of a short-range anti-ship cruise missile.
- February 25, 2003 – Test launch of an anti-ship cruise missile.
- May 31, 1994 – Test launch of a new anti-ship cruise missile.
- April 2 & 3, 2015 – Reported four Toksa missiles were launched over the two days.
- February 8, 2015 – Five short-range missiles, believed to be KN-02s, were launched off the eastern coast.
- August 14, 2014 – Test launch of five short-range missiles believed to be KN-02 missiles.
- May 20, 2013 – Test launch of two short-range missiles, believed to be KN-02 missiles.
- March 16, 2013 – Test launch of two short-range missiles, believed to be KN-02 missiles.
- February 10, 2013 – Believed test launch of a short-range KN-02 missile.
Miscellaneous (Not Identified)
- March 24, 2017 – Ground test of a rocket engine.
- March 22, 2017 – Failed test launch of an unidentified missile.
- March 18, 2017 – Ground test of a rocket engine.
- September 20, 2016 – Ground test of the largest rocket engine to date.
- April 9, 2016 – Ground test of a large liquid-fuel engine designed for an ICBM.
- April 1, 2016 – Fired a short-range surface-to-air missile.
- March 29, 2016 – Test fired a short-range missile off the east coast that flew 200 km.
- March 22, 2016 – Ground test of a solid-fuel engine.
- March 21,2016 – Fired five projectiles into the sea from the east coast.
- Early August 2015 – Believed at least one test of a rocket engine.
- September 6, 2014 – Test launch of three short-range missiles, each traveling over 200 km.
- September 1, 2014 – Launch of a short-range missile that flew over 215 km.
- June 27, 2014 – Test launch of three short-range missiles that travelled around 200 km.
- Early August 2014 – 38 North reports a suspected engine test of the 1st stage of KN-08 missile.
- Early June – Early July, 2014 – 38 North reports a suspected engine test of the KN-08 missile.
- Late March – Early April 2014 – 38 North reports a suspected engine test of the KN-08 missile.
- March 22 – 23, 2014 – Reported test launch of 46 short-range rockets in the two days.
- March 17, 2014 – Reported test launch of 25 short-range rockets.
- December 2013 – Early January 2014 – 38 North reports a suspected long-range rocket engine test.
- Late August 2013 – 38 North reports a suspected long-range rocket engine test.
- May 19, 2013 – Two short-range projectiles launched off east coast.
- May 18, 2013 – Two short-range projectiles launched off east coast.
- Late March – Early April, 2013 – 38 reports a suspected rocket engine test.
- May 26, 2009 – Three short-range missiles launched. The missiles were believed to be anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles.
Scud-C Variant (Shahab-2)
- August 2010: successful test launch of the liquid-fueled Qiam-1 missile.
- May 1991: Test-fires Scud-C purchased from North Korea.
- July 2012: Successful test-firing of Shahab-3 Missile.
- July 2008: claims to have successfully test-fired a Shahab-3 missile.
- December 2004: Initial testing of Ghadr-1, a modified Shahab-3.
- October 20th 2004: Successful test of Shahab-3 variant, Shahab-3M.
- August 11th, 2004: Successful test of Shahab-3 variant, Shahab-3M.
- July 7th, 2003: Successful test of Shahab-3 missile.
- July 2002: Two tests of Shahab-3 missile, first is unsuccessful, second is successful.
- May 2002: Successful test of Shahab-3 missile.
- September 21st, 2000: Test-firing of Shahab-3D motor, disputed as to its success.
- July 15th, 2000: Successful test of Shahab-3 missile.
- July 22nd, 1998: First test flight of Shahab-3 missile, partially successful.
Sejil Missile Systems (Solid-Propellant Variant of Shahab-3)
- February 2011: Iran successfully test fires the Sejil-2 missile.
- October 2010: Successful test firing of Sejil missile.
- December 16th, 2009: Iran successfully test-fires an upgraded version of the Sejil-2.
- September 28th, 2009: Unsuccessful test of the Sejil-2 missile.
- May 20th, 2009: Iran successfully test fires the Sejil-2 missile.
- November 2008: First successful test of the Sejil missile system.
- November 2007: Initial version of Sejil missile, Ashura, test-fired unsuccessfully.
- May 2005: Iran successfully completes test-firing of Shahab-3D solid-propellant motor.
Anti-Ship and Cruise Missiles
- January 2012: Iran test fires Qader, and Nasr missiles during a naval exercise.
- February 2011: tests a supersonic, anti-ship ballistic missile, called the Khalij Fars.
- 1996: Test-fires a Chinese-built C-802 surface-to-surface cruise missile.
- June 1997: reportedly Test fires two Chinese-built C-801K.
- October 2015: Successfully test fired the Emad (Pillar) missile.
Safir Rocket (Shahab-3 Satellite-Bearing Variant)
- April 2016: Iran successfully launches Simorgh rocket.
- February 2nd, 2015: Iran launches Fajr satellite using Safir rocket.
- February 2012: Iran successfully launches the Navid satellite into orbit.
- June 2011: Iran launches the Rasad satellite into space using the Safir rocket.
- February 2009: Iran successfully launches the “Omid” telecommunications and research satellite using the Safir 2 rocket.
- February 4th, 2008: claimed to have successfully launched its Kavoshgar-1 rocket into space.
- January 2012: Iran test-fires Mehrab missile during a naval exercise.
- August 2012: reportedly test-fires a fourth generation Fateh-110 ballistic missile.
- September 2006: claims to have successfully tested a radar-evading missile called the Sagheb.
- July 16th, 2006: Fajr-3 missile exported to Hezbollah kills eight in Haifa.
- May 31st, 2001: First successful test of Fateh-110 missile.
- Missile Basics
- Today’s Missile Threat
- North Korea
- China’s Anti-Access Area Denial
- Russia’s Anti-Access Area Denial
- Non-State Actors
- Missile Proliferation Index by State
- Changjian-20 (CJ-20)
- Dong Feng-11 (CSS-7)
- Dong Feng-12 (CSS-X-15)
- Dong Feng-15 (CSS-6)
- Dong Feng-16 (CSS-11)
- Dong Feng-21 (CSS-5)
- Dong Feng-21D (CSS-5)
- Dong Feng-3 (CSS-2)
- Dong Feng-31 (CSS-10)
- Dong Feng-4 (CSS-3)
- Dong Feng-5 (DF-5)
- M-7 (8610)/CSS-8
- Dong Feng-41(CSS-X-10)
- Dong Feng-26
- DH-10 / CJ-10
- OTR-21 Tochka/SS-21 Scarab
- P-1000 Vulkan
- R-29R / SS-N-18 Stingray
- R-29RM / SS-N-23
- RS-12M Topol (SS-25 Sickle)
- RS-28 Sarmat (Satan 2)
- Scud B SS-1c Mod 1
- SS-18 Satan/R-36M2 Voyevoda
- SS-19 Stiletto
- SS-27 / Topol-M
- SS-27 Mod 2 / RS-24 Yars
- SS-N-27 Sizzler
- SS-N-30 Bulava
- SS-N-30A Kalibr
- SS-N-9 Siren
- Iskander-M (SS-26)
- Notable Missile Tests
- Combat Launches
- Future Ballistic Missile Technology