What is Missile: Definition and 63 Discussions

In military terminology, a missile, also known as a guided missile or guided rocket, is a guided airborne ranged weapon capable of self-propelled flight usually by a jet engine or rocket motor. Missiles have five system components: targeting, guidance system, flight system, engine and warhead. Missiles come in types adapted for different purposes: surface-to-surface and air-to-surface missiles (ballistic, cruise, anti-ship, anti-tank, etc.), surface-to-air missiles (and anti-ballistic), air-to-air missiles, and anti-satellite weapons.
Airborne explosive devices without propulsion are referred to as shells if fired by an artillery piece and bombs if dropped by an aircraft. Unguided jet-propelled missiles are usually described as rocket artillery.
Historically, the word missile referred to any projectile that is thrown, shot or propelled towards a target; this usage is still recognized today.

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  1. P

    Ionizing Atmosphere on the nose of a rocket, missile or aircraft to reduce drag

    I heard of a strange engineering concept that was mentioned to me by someone who claimed to be a retired aerospace engineer. It was a guy I met on the internet so I took what he said to me with huge grain of salt. He said something to me that I barely comprehend and I haven't heard from this...
  2. anorlunda

    Cuban Missile Crisis, the Russian Side of the Story

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/04/that-time-when-soviet-rocket-scientists-nearly-nuked-new-york-city/ Details revealed in this article are eye popping. Must reading.
  3. J

    Quaternions and Direction Cosine Matrix changing in time

    I've already posted this question on the mathematics website of stack exchange, but I've received more help here in the past so will share it here as well. I am developing a tool for missile trajectory (currently without guidance). One issue is that the aerodynamic equations on the missile are...
  4. G

    High energy laser vs supervelocity missile

    I am writing a hard space opera. I plan multiple types of space battles, orbital, asteroid mine capture, board a ship (yes it is very hard to match its course). But my biggest question is the situation of convoy attack. In this case, attack frigates can speed up to 100 km/s. How could lasers...
  5. nsaspook

    False Emergency Alert of Incoming Ballistic Missile Attack

    12:00 There's lots to blame here but I am dumbfounded at the bad computer Human Interface Design. What I have heard at this news conference is that basically a screen comes up with Test or Alert buttons, the guy clicks Alert instead of Test. The program then says, Are you sure you want to do...
  6. P

    I The physics of a missile with uniform rate of fuel loss

    Hello everyone! I'm at a loss trying to figure out the specific force that pushes a missile at rest off the ground, to the high sky. Considering a missile with constant mass, and an independent initial total fuel mass. The rate of fuel mass being expelled out of the missile is constant, in...
  7. Evanish

    Question about missile defense systems and lasers

    I was reading a news article about powerful lasers being used in missile defense systems, and I was wondering if multiple weak laser can work together to do the same job as one strong laser. For example can a thousand 1 Kw lasers in different locations be made to point at a single point on a...
  8. Alexanddros81

    Pytels Dynamics 12.8: Missile dynamics, acceleration and escape velocity

    Homework Statement A missile is launched from the surface of a planet with the speed v0 at t=0. According to the theory of universal gravitation, the speed v of the missile after launch is given by v2 = 2gr0(r0 / r -1) + v02 where g is the gravitational...
  9. Brunolem33

    B How Do Missiles Reenter Earth's Atmosphere?

    A couple of days ago, there was this beautiful ballistic missile launched from North Korea. While reading about this momentous event, I was surprised to learn that said missile had climbed over 2,000 km before crashing into the sea some 700 km from its launchpad. Since this missile flew into...
  10. Z

    How Missile ballast stability works?

    launching a missile from the water, how the ballast stability works?
  11. BoeingJet

    Could a ballistic missile be used to deliver cargo?

    Are firing ballistic rockets to the other side of the planet carrying plenty of cargo economical? If so, would it even be plausible. Please contribute.
  12. B

    Programs Programs and Courses about the Missile Defense

    Hello! I am interested in learning about the art of missile defense; I am particularly interested in the mathematical applications to calculate the missiles' orbits and how to countermeasure them once they are fired from the modes. I am confused where can I start searching for relevant...
  13. CarlosK

    How to derive this equation of missile launch?

    Hi All, Question: How to derive these equations of missile launch? v=∆x√(g/2H) v=√(2gh/β+1) I need to use these formulas: ∆y=voyt - (gt²)/2 ∆x=vxt K=(mv²)/2 + (Iω²)/2 ∆UG=mg∆y I=βmr² β=2/5 Thanks, Carlos.
  14. 1oldman2

    News Iran's Missile Testing: Implications and Potential Responses

    With all the talk in the news about the upcoming satellite launch by Iran, I'm wondering about the consequences and possible actions that may take place in light of the multiple violations of treaties in place currently. I understand the banning of ballistic testing (and by association space...
  15. T

    Heat-shield for a Mach 30 missile at 10km for 10 seconds?

    Using an ablative carbon-carbon heat-shield, what thickness would be used up? Or might a ceramic insulator be able to handle it? What would happen if the nose was solid aluminium?How can this be calculated? What information do I need to figure this out?
  16. D

    Finding the Landing Point of a Missile Dropped from a Plane at an Angle

    Homework Statement a plane, traveling at 200 m/s in the X direction, drops a missile which has a constant acceleration of 7 m/s^2 at an angle 10 degrees below horizontal. If the plane is 1250 m high when it fires, how far (in the x direction) from where it was fired will the missile come down...
  17. J

    Mechanics of a missile liftoff

    From a "design" viewpoint, a missile (see: Saturn V) has a very high center of gravity and a very small base. It can therefore be expected that the least disruption of the location of the center of gravity relative to the base, will result in the missile to tilt and fall over, especially in...
  18. G

    Physically plausible explanation for missile based space combat?

    I've done some calculations. At first glimpse, yes it sounds very nice, that with missiles you can attack way outside laser range... On the other hand, based on molar heat and weight of titanium, it looks like to me, that actually melting down a kg projectile only requires a few MJ... while...
  19. jhae2.718

    The Missile Knows Where It Is

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZe5J8SVCYQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fjcJp_Nwvk
  20. M

    Missile Datcom Input & Output files

    Hi, I'm trying out this sample input file from this website (http://www.phoenix-int.com/~AnalysisServer/FileWrapper/example.html), but I couldn't get the same output as shown. Below are my input and output files: INPUT FILE...
  21. E

    Motion - Missile Projectile

    Hi, not sure if I am posting in the correct area but I need some help looking over a piece of homework. The question is in the image I have linked below but I will type out the question anyway. A missile leaves the ground with a velocity of 200ms-1 at an angle of 60° to the horizontal...
  22. L

    Why can't any missile carry a nuclear warhead?

    Hi, Question about nuclear weapons: Often you hear about a missile that is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. But actually, why can't any missile be capable of this? Just take your favorite missile, build for it a nuclear warhead which is the same shape and size as the missile's...
  23. F

    SIN contest: ballistic missile

    Homework Statement The problem and solution involving the ballistic missile question is in the attached picture. Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution Why does the first expression have (24)(6) in the denominator, when the second expression has (24)(6)(2) ? My thought...
  24. H

    A ship, earth, and a missile. Which time gests dilated and why?

    Homework Statement "A hostile spacecraft approaches your outpost on a distant planet at a speed of 0.3c. When it is at a distance of 3.0*10^{7} km you launch a missile at the enemy with a speed of 0.5c. How much time will elapse before the missile hits the enemy spacecraft as seen in...
  25. K

    Missile Defense System - Collide Missiles

    Homework Statement You are designing a missile defense system that will shoot down incoming missiles that pass over a perimeter defense post. The set-up is shown below. An incoming missile passes directly above the defense base. Radar at the base can measure the height, h, and speed, v1, of...
  26. C

    Comp Sci Java- Missile prgm using parallel guidance

    Hello all! So I am working on a Java program and we have introduced artificial intelligence to a missile that is hunting a flying aircraft in 2d. The purpose of the program is to compare 3 different guidance systems--pursuit, proportional, and parallel. I am stuck on parallel! We have the...
  27. G

    News India successfully test fires 5000km range missile Agni - V

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/world/asia/india-says-it-successfully-tests-nuclear-capable-missile.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17765653 There is some confusion here in India in the media as to what is meant by ICBM and whether a missile with a range of 5000 km...
  28. G

    Determine the time required for a missile to reach its maximum altitude of 21 km

    Homework Statement The U-2 was an American spy plane capable of flying up to 21 km high at speeds over 600km/h. Determine the time required for the missile to reach its maximum altitude of the U-2. Homework Equations d=v_i t+1/2 at^2 The Attempt at a Solution d=21000m a=-9.81m/s^2 v_i=0 t=...
  29. G

    How Does Igniting Fuel at the Trajectory's Apex Affect Missile Debris Dispersal?

    Homework Statement In testing a missile defense system, a missile is red from the ground on a trajectory that would directly hit a bunker some distance away. When the missile is at the top of the trajectory, a laser light from the bunker ignites fuel in the missile and the missile...
  30. D

    Will Both Chunks of the Split Asteroid Miss Starbase Alpha?

    An asteroid is spotted moving directly toward the center of Starbase Alpha. The frightened residents fire a missile at the asteriod, which breaks it into two chunks, one with 2.4 times the mass of the other. The chunks both pass the starbase at the same time. If the lighter chunk passes 1.8 km...
  31. J

    Projectile motion of a Missile relative to ground

    Homework Statement A missile is launched from a fighter jet cruising horizontally at a speed of 280 m/s, at an altitude of 1800 m. The initial velocity of the missile relative to the fighter jet is 160 m/s, in the forward direction. The missile is powered by its own engine, which provides it...
  32. S

    How does the launch altitude alter the range of a missile?

    Let's say, a missile fired from ground level is limited in range by aerodynamic and drag factors upto 3 kms. So how would that range be altered if the missile is fired from an altitude of 5 kms above mean sea level? What are the factors we need to take into consideration to calculate its range...
  33. S

    Exploring Paths to Enter the Ballistic Missile Defense Industry

    Hi all, I am interested in working in industry after I graduate, ideally having to do with ballistic missile defense. Does anyone know what are the best paths to get into this field? Are there many opportunities? What is the ideal major? Any info would be helpful. Thanks.
  34. Ivan Seeking

    Mystery Missile Launch in California

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/americas/pentagon-stumped-by-apparent-missile-launch-off-us-coast/article1791785/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeXNC8k9FKU
  35. G

    Lorentz transformation using to find for vx of a missile

    I have a question which i believe is pretty standard, spaceship traveling towards space staion at 0.80c it fires a missile at 0.40c what is the speed of the missle observed by the space station I'll tell you where I am at; I have set 2 inertial frames. A being that of the space station and...
  36. T

    How Can a PID Controller Improve Missile Guidance in a Game?

    Hey all, This is a bit of a broad subject so I'm not sure which section it best applies to, but here it is anyway. I'm working on a massively over-engineered version of the original Asteroids game. How over-engineered? Well the problem I have right now is desigining and implementing a...
  37. T

    Norway Spiral Mathematically Proven to not be a Missile

    Hi All, I have written a paper showing that the spirals over Norway could not have been caused by a missile. I posted the paper to my blog: http://bringthefunk.blogspot.com/2009/12/on-norway-spirals-and-their-physically.html I would really love feedback from whoever is willing. Thanks.
  38. S

    Missile Landing Radius Problem (Orbital mechanics)

    Homework Statement At time t=0, there is a missile at a height h directly above the perfectly round Earth moving tangential to the surface of Earth. What must be the maximum velocity of the missile at t=0 if it must land within radius r on Earth directly below its initial position by the time...
  39. Z

    Colision angle between guided missile and target

    Hi! I'm designing a game. Given a target moving on a straight line, with constant speed, followed by a guided missile with a constant speed. The missile is faster than the target. It is always headed towards the target. No deviation due to inertia or whatsoever. Supposing the target is a...
  40. Ivan Seeking

    Continental pilot reports missile or rocket over Texas

    Continental pilot reports "missile or rocket" over Texas http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6453529.html
  41. Ivan Seeking

    News Obama comes out swinging - US missile strikes in Pakistan

  42. A

    Information about missile control surfaces.

    Hi, I need some good amount of information regarding the types of control surfaces being used to control and maneuver the missiles. i couldn't find this stuff on my own. so, please help me. thanks in anticipation Abhishek
  43. M

    Solving Missile Motion Problems: Answers & Explanations

    Homework Statement A missile is fired with an initial velocity of 85 m/s at an angle of 30 degrees from the horizontal. A) After how many seconds will the missile reach the highest point? B) What is the maximum height reached by the missile? C) Calculate the total horizontal distance...
  44. X

    Unleashing the Power of a H-Bomb Missile

    Hydrogen Bomb... how much energy is in a H-bomb or how much destruction can it cause if it's the size of a missile?
  45. humanino

    News Great Prophet III: Iran's Missile Tests

    Why would Iran conduct nine missile tests right now, and call it Great Prophet III ? They want it ?
  46. D

    Calculating Missile Descent Angle for Target Intercept

    How would you go about calculating when to begin descending on a target when you know the angle of descent, but to reach the angle of descent the direction vector arcs like it would in real life. I'm very bad at math and terminology but I hope you get what I mean. You know the targets...
  47. V

    What is the speed of the missile, relative to ship B?

    Two spaceships, named A and B, are flying toward each other with relative speed .80c . The captain of ship B knows that ship A uses 2-m-long missiles. She measures the length of the first missile, once it has finished accelerating, and finds it to be only 0.872m long. What is the speed of the...
  48. V

    What Is the Drag Coefficient of a Missile Compared to a Torpedo?

    Hi Does anyone know the drag coefficient of a missile. Would a missile have a lower drag coefficient then a torpedo? Thanks all
  49. D

    Proving Missile Collision Conditions for Target Hit

    A missile is fired at a target from the origin O, with the velocity vector, t seconds after it was fired, given by \overrightarrow v (t) = [u\cos \theta ]\overrightarrow i + [u\sin \theta - gt]\overrightarrow j, where u, theta and g are constants. The target is moving with velocity...
  50. C

    Missile launch velocity for hitting a moving target

    Homework Statement There is a target at r_0=x_0i+y_0j+z_0k moving with a velocity of v=v_xi+v_yj+v_zk wrt a missle launcher. With what velocity should the missile be launched so as to hit the target, and find the equation of trajectory of the missile. The Attempt at a Solution I did...