Missile Technology

As per the military munitions, a powered, guided munition that travels through the air or space is known as a Missile.

The first operational series of missiles was developed by Nazi Germany in the World War II. Out of these, the most famous ones were V-1 Flying Bomb and V-2 which used a simple mechanical autopilot to keep the missile on the pre-chosen route.

These missiles have to be guided in order to hit the intended target, which is done with the help of the missile guidance technology. The accuracy of the missile is the key factor to determine its effectiveness. The Missile Guidance Technology is divided into two categories on the basis targets, either fixed or moving.

The following are the two categories:

  • Go-Onto-Target (GOT)
    Through a GOT missile either a moving or fixed target can be targeted.
  • Go-Onto-Location-In-Space (GOLIS)
    Through a GOLIS missile a very limited, stationary or near-stationary target can be targeted.

GOT System

A GOT system consists of the following:
  • Target Tracker
  • Missile Tracker
  • Guidance Computer
Further there are two categories which are based on the distribution of the above three subsystems in the missile and the launcher, which are as following:
  • Remote Control Guidance
  • Homing Guidance

Remote Control Guidance

In this the guidance computer and target tracker is placed on the launcher. To develop a link between the missile and the control point, this system uses radars and radios, which means that the information transmitted through the radio or the wire controls the trajectory.

This system includes: Command Guidance:
The missile tracker is placed on the launching platform. The launching platform totally controls these missiles that send all control orders to the missile. The two variants are:

Command to Line-of-Sight (CLOS): This system uses only the angular coordination, to ensure collision, between the missile and the target. According to this system the missile has to be in the line of sight between the launcher and the target. Command Off Line-of-sight (COLOS):
In this system the orientation of the missile tracker and the target tracker can take place in different directions. The interception of the target by the missile is ensured by locating both in space. Therefore, they will not rely on the angular coordination as in CLOS.

Line-Of-Sight Beam Riding Guidance (LOSBR):

This system uses some sort of a "beam" most typically radio, radar or laser and points it at the target and detectors on the rear of the missile which keeps it centered in the beam.

Homing Guidance

Active Homing
In this particular system a radar system is used on the missile to provide a guidance signal. Basically it's the electronics in the missile that keeps the radar pointed directly at the target, and then the missile looks at this "angle" of its own centerline to guide itself.

The size of the antenna is determines the radar resolution.

Semi-Active Homing
In the Semi-active homing systems, a radar receiver on the missile with a radar broadcaster located "elsewhere" is combined. In order to avoid problems with resolution or power, the missile is typically launched after the target is detected using a powerful radar system and the same system is used to track the target as well.

Passive Homing
This system works on the principle of the heat generated by the target and detected by the Infrared and homed on. This is also called 'Heat-seeking'.

Retransmission Homing
This system is a hybrid between command guidance, semi-active radar homing and active radar homing. It is also called Track via Missile (TVM).

GOLIS System

The main characteristic of this system is the lack of Target tracker, but the missile tracker and the guidance computer are located in the missile.

Only a single type of system is present which is:

Navigational Guidance

It is any type of guidance which is executed by a system without target tracker. The other two units are placed on the missile. These systems are also known as Self Contained Guidance Systems.

Last Updated on 6/28/2011