# 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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### Guidance of 5V27 missile: what is twist angle between missile and radar system

Currently, I am learning about guidance physics of S125 system. As far as I have learned, the missile is guided to the target by the radar system on the ground. The position of target and missile is ...
257 views

### 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 ...
9k views

### 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 ...
910 views

### 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 ...
4k views

### 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 ...
214 views

### 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 ...
367 views

### 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 ...
107 views

### 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?
5k views

### How do missiles steer (mainly air to surface)?

How do missiles steer in the air? What techniques do they use?
8k views

### 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 ...
153 views

### 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?) ...
552 views

### 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, ...
345 views

### 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,...
411 views

### 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 ...
365 views

### 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-...
212 views

### 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 ...
501 views

### 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 ...
249 views

### 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 ...
687 views

### 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 $$\alpha = \arctan \left(\frac{w}{u}\right)$$ ...
12k views

### 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: ...
381 views

### 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 ...
200 views

### 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 ...
1k views

### 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 ...
352 views

### 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 ...
2k views

### 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 ...
584 views

### 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 ...
461 views

### 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,...
472 views

### 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?
537 views

### 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, ...
2k views

### 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 ...
1k views

### 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 ...
369 views

### 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 ...
672 views

### Can a P51 outrun an missile? [closed]

No explanation needed, can a P-51 Mustang outrun a missile?
2k views

### 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 ...
695 views

### 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 ...
2k views

### 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)
4k views

### 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?
85 views

### Why do you think Pakistani LACM and SLCM have different ranges? [closed]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babur_(cruise_missile) The following is the picture of Pakistan's LACM Babur-II. Its billed range is 750 km. The following is the picture of Pakistan's SLCM Babur-III. ...
2k views

### Why do cruise missiles look different than subsonic jet aircraft?

They both fly. They both carry loads. Why do cruise missiles look too different from subsonic jet aircraft?
309 views

### Can a missile retarget to the heat from the firing aircraft's engines? [closed]

I have heard that modern war planes utilize missiles which are directed to the heat of the enemy aircraft's engines. Can a missile, shot by a fighter helicopter or jet, target the heat of the ...
273 views

### Are well-known IR AAMs 'compatible' with aircraft from other countries?

The AA-2 Atoll was a Russian reverse-engineered clone of the AIM-9B Sidewinder. There are some sources that indicate, with varying degrees of veracity, that it was a good enough clone that the two ...
267 views

### Drone swarm technology on missiles [closed]

since drone swarm technology can control large amounts of drones in a coordinated manner, could it also be used on missiles? Imagine an aircraft could launch a few swarms of small missiles (like a ...
827 views

### Do different types of missiles indicate different lock tones to the pilot?

Are there different lock tones for different types of missiles, e.g. air-to-ground (AGM) or anti-ship (AShM)? If so, what information do the tones give the pilot? Are they a way for the pilot to know ...
3k views

### What weapons do A-10 Warthogs typically carry? [closed]

What is the A-10 Warthog's typical operational load out? Seeing as it is built a tank buster, does it actually carry anti-tank weapons, and what situations would they be used e.g would they (A-10's) ...
2k views

### What is the heat signature of a piston engine, relative to a jet engine?

I'm reading about the AIM-9 Sidewinder Missile again. I noticed this interesting photo: Notice, that's a piston-engined aircraft, and a small one at that. So I'm asking myself, how did the missile ...
3k views

### When were flares first used as IR countermeasures, and by whom?

I've been trying to find the history of flares (as countermeasures to heat-seeking missiles), but have not had much luck. Closest thing has been this wiki article which has but a single sentence in ...
2k views

### In what manner was the Vympel R-73 (AA-11 Archer) a game-changer in comparison with NATO's missiles?

I have heard that when the Vympel R-73 air-to-air missile was introduced it was a game-changer. I have also heard that after the collapse of the Soviet block it was tested by NATO (via re-united ...