Questions tagged [missiles]

In modern military usage, a missile, or guided missile, is a self-propelled precision-guided munition system, as opposed to an unguided self-propelled munition, referred to as a rocket. 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.

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Starstreak Missile system - How do the darts avoid colliding with each other?

There is plenty of detailed info online about how the individual darts fly and manoeuvre but nothing about how they maintain their triangular separation.
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Is fuel efficiency the only reason why hypersonic missiles don't use rocket engines?

Is fuel efficiency the only reason why hypersonic missiles don't use rocket engines? And why are rocket engine missiles relatively slow compared to scramjet missiles? In theory rocket engines can ...
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Are there reasons why hypersonic missiles can't be seen on radar? [closed]

military.com claims that hypersonic missiles cannot be seen on radar: And it's so fast that the air pressure in front of the weapon forms a plasma cloud as it moves, absorbing radio waves and making ...
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How do missiles navigate and determine their orientation without GPS?

When a missile is engaged in a GPS free tracking loop how is its internal orientation estimated with respect to ground? I'm assuming this orientation is needed because the force of gravity will be ...
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What are the specific features of TY-90? [closed]

The wikipedia article about the TY-90 anti-helicopter missile mentions that China developed the TY-90 specifically as a helicopter-based anti-helicopter missile. This differs from the solution adopted ...
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Can a misfired BrahMos missile be aborted? [closed]

Errant Indian Missile Nearly Led to Pakistan Retaliatory Strike Could the missile have been stopped before it hit the ground? Specific parts to the question: Does the BrahMos missile command and ...
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Propulsion method for MANPADS missiles

What propulsion method is used for small short range handheld missile systems? Liquid fuel rocket engines are the gold standard but I suspect require too many components for the size requirements. Is ...
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What specific features of the Sukhoi 27 make it a rival to the F-15?

I just read an article about the Sukhoi 35 that mentioned as a side note that: The Soviet SU-27 was designed to kill the American F-15 Of course the political context of the Cold War agrees with ...
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How can a supersonic cruise missile be intercepted?

India fires missile into Pakistan after ‘technical malfunction’ The above news says that India accidentally fired a supersonic missile, most probably a BrahMos cruise missile, into Pakistan. The most ...
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Why is there a radioactivity sign on the Eurofighter's missile?

In this link you see a Eurofighter Typhoon having a missile with a radioactivity sign on it. The inscription below "DANGER" is too small, I can't read it. This is an Austrian Eurofighter ...
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3 votes
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How to estimate the time to intercept for homing missiles?

I have been reading the book Tactical and Strategic Missile Guidance by Zarchan, and a notice that he frequently uses the time to intercept $t_{go}$, and in his simulations he fixes the final time. My ...
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Is any air-to-air missile capable of re-engaging a target after missing?

Unfortunately this question is prompted by missile performance in a community mod for DCS, where an Israeli Python-5 is depicted as missing its target, completing a vertical loop, then re-engaging and ...
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how missiles or rockets change direction if gyroscopes prevent any direction change? they would bring back the rocket to same path? [closed]

Gyroscopes are instrument which prevent any wobbling or direction change but then how rockets and missiles change their directions. To change direction we have to give signals to gyro or to the servo(...
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Why do X-wing configurations missile/guide bombs use symmetric airfoils?

From all the missiles/guide bombs I have come across, I've always observed that a symmetric airfoil is used for both the wing and tail. Why not have a cambered airfoil for the wing and a symmetric ...
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Do missiles need anti-icing?

Are anti-icing systems needed for any missile carried by a small combat jet? And if so, how is this achieved? I realize of course that missiles typically fly at Mach 2.5+, so the compressive effects ...
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In missiles, what actuators are used for the control surfaces?

In a normal airplane, hydraulics or even cable-pulled systems are used to power the control surfaces. In a missile, that seems infeasible. What device is used to move the control surfaces, and where ...
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Can anti-radiation missiles be used to target stealth fighter aircraft?

What I understand is that anti-radiation missiles are accurate and long range. So, assume that a fighter aircraft is 100% invisible on radar. However, its radar is transmitting energy continuously ...
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How are missiles attached/detached from a combat jet aircraft?

What is the mechanism holding a missile onto the hard-point of a wing, and how does it smoothly release the missile when it's ready to fire? What about the electric cables that also need to detach ...
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Why are AMRAAMs often mounted on the F-16's wingtip hardpoints?

If an F-16 is armed with AMRAAM and Sidewinder missiles, with regards to inertia and roll-rate, it would seem to make sense to mount the heavier AMRAAM closer to the fuselage, and the Sidewinder's IR ...
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What missile defense systems would be used against hypersonic glide vehicles? [closed]

What missile defense systems would be used against hypersonic glide vehicles and cruise missiles (like Avangard or Sky Star)? What challenges would nations face developing them?
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How do missiles steer (mainly air to surface)?

How do missiles steer in the air? What techniques do they use?
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What's this black rectangle painted on the side of a V-1 flying bomb?

A friend sent me a photo of the V-1 flying bomb on display at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo. What's the black painted rectangle on the side of the fuselage? The writing isn't much help... Nicht auftreten ...
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During airshows, how common is it to fly armed with (inert?) missiles?

I notices that these three Su-35s were armed with missiles during an airshow. At the 1-min mark, you can clearly see that jet #38 has 2 missiles under each wing as well as a bomb / (spare fuel tank?) ...
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F-16 low speed SAM avoidance tactics?

After having watched the rather horrible yet fascinating F-16 avoiding multiple SAM launches: I'm left wondering why he doesn't increase his speed? There are, ...
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What are the relative contributions of the body and wings to missile lift?

Slender bodies like arrow shafts, airliner fuselages, and submarine hulls are all capable of generating lift, albeit much less efficiently than a high aspect ratio wing. They also generate little drag,...
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Is an F-16 able to fire any of its weapons while on the ground? [duplicate]

I can recall at least one Hollywood movie, where this takes place (although not an F-16 in the movie). Is this at all possible? Can the F-16 fire its M61 while taxiing on the ground? What about other ...
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How does an AMRAAM communicate securely with the aircraft that launched it?

From Wikipedia: It also incorporates a datalink to guide the missile to a point where its active radar turns on and makes terminal intercept of the target. An inertial reference unit and micro-...
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How practical is laser designation against helicopters?

Laser designation is a fairly common method for guiding missiles and precision bombs, but how does it perform against aerial targets? Given the ranges and kinematics involved, this method could be ...
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Are there countermeasures for semi-active laser homing SAM?

I would imagine sensors that pick up the wavelength/PRF and a couple of emitters trying to flood the seeker. Or could chaff be sufficiently reflective?
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How do internally carried IR missiles acquire a lock?

On aircraft that carry their IR missiles on external stores, like the F/A-18, an IR-missile acquires a lock by having its seeker being directed to the target heat source by whatever means and the ...
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Are there any missile systems as of 2019 capable of shooting down aircraft in excess of mach 6?

Are there any missile systems, ground based, or air to air, as of 2019 that are capable of shooting down aircraft in excess of mach 6, such as the X-15? For simplicity I'm ignoring the fact that the ...
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What is the time derivative of the angle of attack?

Suppose a flying missile's velocity vector has components $u, v, w$, as illustrated below. From my knowledge of flight dynamics, the angle of attack is $$\alpha = \arctan \left(\frac{w}{u}\right)$$ ...
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How do conventional missiles fly?

With the exception of cruise missiles, most missiles don't have any obvious lifting device. If you watch a missile being fired, prior to its rocket firing it does exactly what you'd expect: ...
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Why are hexa airfoils used on rockets despite having more drag that diamond airfoils? [closed]

I was doing a study on airfoils shape for a rocket. I tested the diamond and the hexagonal airfoil with Missile DatCom, RasAero and the Shock Expansion theory and from my results it seems like the ...
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If the Meteor BVRAAM is the best AAM, and the APG-81 is the best radar for detecting aircraft, then why don't all fighter aircraft simply use these? [closed]

Why are some missiles incompatible with some aircraft? If fighter A has better radar and missiles than fighter B, then why isn't it possible to simply integrate the better radar and missiles into ...
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What are the advantages of using a ramjet in an air-to-surface missile?

Which are the advantages of using a ramjet compared to a rocket engine in an air-to-surface missile? I suppose the cost rises a lot, so why do some countries use ramjets as a way of propelling ASM ...
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What kind of damage would low-level supersonic flight inflict?

I was watching a video about "The Big Stick" aka Project Pluto, a nuclear powered SLAM. In the video (I couldn't find the exact video) it said that after deploying its weapon payload a SLAM could fly ...
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With similar weapons why does an AH64 Apache require a pilot and gunner when the A10 Warthog only needs a pilot?

The Apache has a 30mm chain gun. It carries Hellfire (anti armor), Stinger/Sidewinder (air to air) and Hydra (air to ground, APKWS guidance package available) missiles. source The Warthog has a ...
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Do flares affect IR tracking devices?

If an IR device, such as a tracking FLIR system (not a heat-seeking missile), tracks an aircraft and that said aircraft would launch flares. Is the IR tracking device likely to be confused by the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How do cruise missiles stay aloft? [duplicate]

How do cruise missiles fly? Where does the lift come from? On pictures you can see that they have wings what are tiny compared to the body / payload. Do they generate enough lift? Or is the propulsion,...
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Does Airforce one carry missiles to protect itself and its passengers?

Do the VC-25 aircraft used for Air Force One carry missiles to protect itself and its passengers? If so, can these missiles be fired at potential threats?
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Why are some Tomahawk missiles' nose duck-nose shaped?

Why there is a duck-like shape in this Tomahawk missile's nose? I see this shape in most Tomahawk images; however, not every Tomahawk's nose is shaped like this. If it is an aerodynamic feature, ...
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22 votes
1 answer
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Is it allowed to mount fake missiles on a civilian aircraft?

In this answer to a question asking to identify an aircraft, we can see a picture of a Aero L-39 Albatros with some missiles hanging from the wings: (flickr.com) N915WE. Supposedly, this is a ...
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8 votes
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Is it possible for a fighter jet to shoot itself down with an IR missile?

In this answer, it's mentioned that However, IR missiles (AIM-9 Sidewinder, AA-11 Archer, MICA IR, ASRAAM) do not emit any EMR that indicates they're incoming; they use a passive FLIR sensor to ...
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Is making faster military fighters even practical?

I was curious after reading a book on Cold War plane development about the Soviet ideology of making increasingly powerful jets that could break Mach 3 and so on. With the advent of BVRAAM's such as ...
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Can a P51 outrun an missile? [closed]

No explanation needed, can a P-51 Mustang outrun a missile?
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Which one has a higher success rate between Infrared homing and Radar homing missiles, for air to air combat?

I know Infrared missiles don't work on long ranges, so I will keep my question limited to short ranges only, in which both missiles can work. In such short ranges, which guidance system has more ...
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How did a Soviet SA-3 missile manage to shoot down the F-117 Nighthawk?

This question is about the F-117A that was shot down in 1999. How did an obsolete missile like the SA-3 shoot down such an advanced aircraft for its time? This question has nothing to do with how ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What is the difference between "x" and "+" configuration in missiles?

What is the difference between "x" and "+" configuration tail fins, and what are the advantages of each in free flight? (for example JDAM missiles)
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Can a missile be fired when a fighter jet is inverted?

Is there an attitude limit for firing a missile from a fighter jet? Can the pilots fire them when they're pulling Gs, or inverted?
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