What is Missile and History of Missile with List of Deadliest Missiles in the World
In modern language, a missile is a self-propelled precision-guided munition system, as opposed to an unguided self-propelled munition, referred to as a rocket (although these too can also be guided). Missiles have four system components: targeting and/or missile guidance, flight system, engine, and warhead. All known existing missiles are designed to be propelled during powered flight by chemical reactions inside a rocket engine, jet engine, or other type of engine. Non-self-propelled airborne explosive devices are generally referred to as shells and usually have a shorter range than missiles.
In ordinary British-English usage predating guided weapons, a missile is “any thrown object”, such as objects thrown at players by rowdy spectators at a sporting event.
Classification of Missile
Missiles are generally classified on the basis of their Type, Launch Mode, Range, Propulsion, Warhead and Guidance Systems.
(i) Cruise Missile: A cruise missile is an unmanned self-propelled (till the time of impact) guided vehicle that sustains flight through aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path and whose primary mission is to place an ordnance or special payload on a target. They fly within the earth’s atmosphere and use jet engine technology. These vehicles vary greatly in their speed and ability to penetrate defences.ICBMCruise missiles can be categorised by size, speed (subsonic or supersonic), range and whether launched from land, air, surface ship or submarine.
Depending upon the speed such missiles are classified as:
1) Subsonic cruise missile
2) Supersonic cruise missile
3) Hypersonic cruise missile
On the basis of Launch Mode:
(i) Surface-to-Surface Missile: A surface-to-surface missile is a guided projectile launched from a hand-held, vehicle mounted, trailer mounted or fixed installation. It is often powered by a rocket motor or sometimes fired by an explosive charge since the launch platform is stationary.
(ii) Surface-to-Air Missile: A surface-to-air missile is designed for launch from the ground to destroy aerial targets like aircrafts, helicopters and even ballistic missiles. These missiles are generally called air defence systems as they defend any aerial attacks by the enemy.
(iii) Surface (Coast)-to-Sea Missile: A surface (coast)-to-sea missile is designed to be launched from land to ship in the sea as targets.
(iv) Air-to-Air Missile: An air-to-air missile is launched from an aircraft to destroy the enemy aircraft. The missile flies at a speed of 4 Mach.
(v) Air-to-Surface Missile: An air-to-surface missile is designed for launch from military aircraft and strikes ground targets on land, at sea or both. The missiles are basically guided via laser guidance, infrared guidance and optical guidance or via GPS signals. The type of guidance depends on the type of target.
(vi) Sea-to-Sea Missile: A sea-to-sea missile is designed for launch from one ship to another ship.
(vii) Sea-to-Surface (Coast) Missile: A sea-to-surface missile is designed for launch from ship to land based targets.
(viii) Anti-Tank Missile: An anti-tank missile is a guided missile primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily-armoured tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles. Anti-tank missiles could be launched from aircraft, helicopters, tanks and also from shoulder mounted launcher.
On the basis of Range:
This type of classification is based on maximum range achieved by the missiles. The basic classification is as follows:
(i) Short Range Missile
(ii) Medium Range Missile
(iii) Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile
(iv) Intercontinental Ballistic Missile