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17

To add to GdD's fine answer: The environment provides plenty of different heat sources for the missile to see. To get a target lock, the "signature" of the heatsource has to be of quite a specific kind. Anything simply hotter than the surroundings will not be sufficient. The specifics of the way a missile lock is aquired and maintained is of course ...


46

An IR sensor detects objects that are at a higher (or lower but that's not how missiles work) temperature than the surrounding environment, most of the helicopter won't be that much hotter or cooler than the air around it, so wouldn't distinguish it much unless you get very close. Jet engine exhaust is much hotter than the surrounding environment, so it ...


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