Three Common Types Of Missiles

Must read

A missile is any projectile that is forcibly propelled at a target. While explosions come to mind when thinking about missiles, any object can be considered a missile based on the technical definition. In the defense and aerospace industries, missiles are generally equipped with some type of explosive warhead. To keep the warhead from exploding while in storage, missiles are sometimes coupled with acceleration switches. These switches only engage when a missile has reached a certain degree of acceleration or deceleration, arming the warhead in the process.

Defense firms can get switches quickly by relying on suppliers like Select Controls, a maker of hemispherical acceleration switches and acceleration switch assembly components and systems. These supplies are needed to keep weapons systems armed with the latest in technology to stand ready to defend the United States.

Below are three common types of missiles used today:

Surface-To-Air Missiles

Surface-to-air missiles, also referred to as antiaircraft missiles, are launched from positions on the ground toward targets in the sky. These types of projectiles were created and refined throughout the latter part of the 20th Century, and today, they serve as key defensive weapons in the armed forces. Some can be fired from mounted weapons systems while others can be shoulder-fired from portable launchers. Still, others can be launched from vehicles that include ships, submarines and ground vehicles.

The MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile has an effective range of around 99 miles when used with the Patriot Advanced Capability-2 guidance system. This allows it to be fired from remote locations away from battlefields to strike at primary targets or cripple infrastructure.

Air-To-Air Missiles

Air-to-air missiles are fired from one aircraft toward other flying targets. They generally use rocket-propelled motors and are sometimes guided by infrared sensing. This means that they seek out heat sources, and many aircraft equipped with these missiles are only able to engage targets within short or medium ranges.

Air-to-air missiles can also be long-range weapons, and modern air-to-air missiles are equipped with technology that can see targets from long distances and track them. Currently, the AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile (JATM) is able to reach targets at a range of approximately 120 miles. This missile, in development by Lockheed-Martin, is a beyond-visual air-to-air missile, meaning it does not need to be within sight of a target in order to have its course set. This differs from the heat-seeking guidance of infrared missiles in that infrared guidance only applies the projectile’s targeting to a single spot, making these types of missiles easier to throw off course.

Antitank Missiles

Antitank missiles are explosive projectiles that are either shoulder-fired or fired from stationary positions. These missiles are usually smaller and lighter than conventional surface-to-air missiles or air-to-air missiles, but they can still decimate targets with explosive power. In an effort to combat antitank missiles, some tanks now utilize composite armor or reactive armor plating. These types of armor can resist light antitank missile attacks, but multiple attacks in the same spot can overcome composite and reactive armor.

The French Akeron MP is an example of a so-called fifth-generation antitank guided missile system. This system’s missiles can lock onto targets after launch to continue an attack without a line of sight. Additionally, the Akeron MP utilizes both low-light vision sensing and infrared targeting for use across a number of battlefield scenarios. It also fires with a tandem charge, allowing for multiple detonations with one fire to penetrate armor defenses designed to stop conventional antitank weapons.

More articles

Latest article

Top Categories