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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1 answer
211 views

What is the theoretical justification for "proportional navigation (PN)" guidance law?

In missile guidance theory, one of the fundamental guidance algorithms is the so-called "Proportional navigation", which directs a constant-speed missile into a collision course with the ...
4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
4 votes
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Do El Al Israel aircraft have Chaff/Flare dispensers and Radar Warning Receivers?

I have heard that El Al Israel aircraft have missile warning systems and lasers to stop anti-aircraft weapons. Do El Al Israel aircraft have chaff/flare dispensers and Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) too?...
5 votes
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How do rolling airframe missiles steer?

There are a certain type of missiles that roll constantly in flight, so-called rolling airframe missiles. Missiles found in the category range from various MANPADs, to the creatively named RIM-116 ...
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1 answer
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Can engines with a fixed nozzle in the angle of attack have the same effect as the thrust vectoring?

If the figure above represents a missile at the angle of attack and we vector resolution the thrust output from the nozzle, we can see that the thrust is divided into sine and cosine parts. Does the ...
5 votes
1 answer
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What is this missile extended beneath an F-104 Starfighter?

On a video posted on YouTube there is a short clip of some sort of rocket-powered device - presumably a missile - extended beneath an F-104 on a mechanical sling. It must have been lowered into ...
12 votes
5 answers
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Why do missiles typically have cylindrical fuselage and not a fuselage that generates more lift?

For example, Tomahawk Cruise Missile, or Harpoon anti-ship missile. They fly straight and level for the most part of their flight regime. I think if they had a fuselage optimised for level flight then ...
16 votes
2 answers
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What is meant by "Fox Two"?

Numerous Movies, Video Games, and TV shows featuring fighter pilots depict the pilots calling out "Fox Two" on the radio as they fire a missile. The transmission (as depicted, I'm not sure ...
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1 answer
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what is acceleration of gravity in free fall situation with air drag? [closed]

consider a ballistic missile in reentry trajectory with initial velocity of 1000 m/s. as missile enters the atmosphere, air drag decelereting its velocity so missile's acceleration becomes negative. ...
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2 answers
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The Aim 9 missile mounted on the left side spin in the same direction as right side mounted after launching?

When the AIM 9 sidewinder missile is fired the spin is in the same direction?
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3 answers
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Can laser designated weapons such as AGM be used for air to air combat?

Just wondering because I know AGM cant pull any g's but if the target is straight ahead of you and they cant see you i think AGM would be more effective because of Radar lock ping.
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Can current air to air missiles shoot each other down?

Assuming that a missile is able to track, lock and effectively guide itself to another missile for sake of argument, would say an AIM 9X or AIM120 be able to shoot down its respective counterpart? ...
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3 answers
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Changing the missile's flight speed

I am interested in the range of velocity changes of missiles. Planes have a minimum speed set equal to the landing speed, helicopters also have a set speed - this is zero, but what about missiles? ...
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6 answers
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Why do heavy bombers not carry air-to-air missiles?

Imagine a heavy bomber – such as the B52, Tu160 or B1 – is heading toward a hot zone carrying a large number of AMRAAM or longer ranged missiles. Why doesn't it also carry air-to-air ...
6 votes
1 answer
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How is a cruise missile's range extended?

I see that some countries periodically test their cruise missiles, saying that they have increased the range. For example, Pakistan doubled the range of the Babur cruise missile and designated it as ...
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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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Why did the US adapt the AIM-9X and not the ASRAAM IR missile? [closed]

I was looking and saw that the British developed a missile called the ASRAAM, which was not adopted by the United States. Why? Also, how do the AIM-9X and ASRAAM compare? In which situation would one ...
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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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2 answers
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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 ...
5 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
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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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1 answer
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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 ...
11 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
4 votes
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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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1 answer
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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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
2 votes
6 answers
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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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2 answers
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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(...
3 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
7 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
41 votes
6 answers
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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 ...
8 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
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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?
25 votes
6 answers
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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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
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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-...
41 votes
4 answers
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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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4 answers
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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 $$\alpha = \arctan \left(\frac{w}{u}\right)$$ ...
3 votes
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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?) ...
17 votes
1 answer
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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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4 answers
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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, ...
28 votes
10 answers
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Can a civilian aircraft pilot see a missile coming?

Can a civilian aircraft pilot see a missile coming? By "civilian aircraft," I mean planes that were not equipped with flares that fire when rockets approach or any similar anti-missile systems. If ...
9 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
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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,...
4 votes
2 answers
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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, ...
5 votes
1 answer
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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 ...