Missiles, Conventional

While expensive and technical in nature, the missile is an essential part of today’s combat and superiority in air, ground, and sea. The concept of the missile alone has spurred advances in aviation, avionics, and communications while forcing militaries to consider the possibility (and strategic value) of lightning fast attacks from airborne opponents or long-range devastation from far away enemies. This entry discusses the history, guidance systems, and types of missiles and examines their role in recent conflicts.

What Is a Missile?

Missiles can only be classified as such if they meet two criteria: First, they must have some kind of a propulsion system, whether it be a rocket motor, a jet engine, a ram jet, or some other source of thrust besides gravity; and second, ...

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