What is the difference between cruise and ballistic missiles, and what they still are?


2020-01-10 20:20:31




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What is the difference between cruise and ballistic missiles, and what they still are? Source:

the Rocket in the air looks very nice. Only this beauty doesn't Bode well.

Due to the turbulent political situation in the world, news reports are increasingly full of words like ”missile”, ”missile attack”, ”ballistic missile”, ”cruise missile” and many other words related to artillery and, in fact, by the rockets. The problem is that not everyone understands what lies behind such familiar words. We've learned that there is a missile that is a missile to destroy targets. Let's understand this complex world and figure out what is different about a cruise from solid, and from cryogenic hypersonic.

First and foremost, it should be noted that rocket is not a weapon, and only a part of the weapon. Often can be found the following definition:

In turn, the definition of the missile in this context is as follows:

In military terminology you might encounter the following definition:

As the saying goes, understood and remembered. Called rocket a full range is not entirely correct. The missile — it is only the part of the weapon that is responsible for the delivery of the warhead to the target. However, further in the text we will use the word “rocket” as not talking about the complex, namely the delivery vehicle.

First combat rocket

If I ask you, when was created the first rocket, many will tell you that in the second half of the twentieth century. Someone will say that such weapons were widely used during world war II, and someone will even flash knowledge of such titles as V-2. But only a few will remember that the first guns that remotely resembled missiles, appeared in the XI century in China.

it looked like the great grandmother of modern missiles.

They consisted of an arrow to which the bottom was attached to the capsule filled with powder. This boom started with hands and bow, and then the gunpowder was ignited and provided the propulsion.

Later there were fireworks, a variety of experiments with model rockets, and finally a full-fledged armaments, which eventually partially replace the work of the infantry with small arms and even aircraft.

«Katyusha» — is also part of the family of missile weapons.

The First military conflict in which mass used missile weapons, was really the Second world war. Most often, such weapons were used in rocket launchers "Katyusha" (USSR) and "Nebelwerfer" (). Was , for example, the same V-2 rocket. Its name comes from the German name Vergeltungswaffe-2, which means ”weapon of retaliation”. It was developed by German designer Werner von Braun, and adopted by the Wehrmacht at the end of the Second world war. The missile had the range to 320 kilometers and was used primarily to destroy ground targets in the cities of England and Belgium.

the Famous «V-2»

The extensive proliferation of missile weapons received after the Second world war. For example, in 1948, the flight range of Soviet missiles R-1 was 270 km, and after only 11 years was established in the R-7A with a range of 13 000 km. As the saying goes, ”the difference in the face”.

What is the difference between the rocket

Now we can talk about what each different missile. As a rule, ordinary people hear mention of cruise and ballistic missiles. There are two main types, but there are some others. Let us examine the main ones, but first we give a classification of types of missiles.

Missiles are divided into types, depending on:

  • Trajectory (cruise, ballistic)
  • the
  • Class (earth-to-air, air-ground, air-to-air, and so on)
  • the
  • flight Range (close/medium range and Intercontinental)
  • the
  • Type of engine and type of fuel (solid, liquid, hybrid and ramjet, cryogenic)
  • the
  • the Type of warhead (conventional, nuclear)
  • the
  • guidance System (laser, wire, team, geophysical, terrestrial landmarks, satellite, and others)

Countless types of missiles.

Now let's focus on the main points that may seem unclear.

the Difference between the missiles in the class

Class of missiles speaks for itself. The missile of class ”air-air” designed to defeat air targets when running in the air. Such missiles launched from aircraft, such as airplanes, helicopters and numerous types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS).

Rockets of a class ”earth-air” designed to defeat air targets from the ground. They can be based both onstationary launchers and man-portable. The most famous portable air defense systems (MANPADS) are Soviet-Russian ”Igla” and ”Strela”, as well as the American ”Stinger”. It is noteworthy that almost all of MANPADS used in modern military conflicts, was created back in the eighties of the last century. For example, the first modification of the ”Stinger” number of FIM-92A was created in 1981. About this time appeared ”Strela” and ”Igla”, and French ”Mistrale”.

Rocket complex Stinger.

As you can see, the class of missiles speaks for itself. Apart is only a class ”air-surface”, which involves missiles to destroy ground and water targets.

Land-based Missiles depending on their purpose, size, range and other parameter can be placed in silos, on special ground sites and on a special tracked or wheeled transport. So they can be launched from ships and submarines. That defeat ground targets with missiles is justified especially because you can run them in close to enemy territory.

are a real headache for the military all over the world. Is not notice her, and in the event of impact, the missile will fly from a distance of several thousand kilometers and several hundred kilometers. In the end, the reaction almost does not remain to time.

a Missile with a nuclear warhead

Not difficult to guess that the most terrible missile is one that is able to carry a nuclear warhead. However, many missiles are equipped with this opportunity in the form of options. In conflicts where the use of nuclear weapons is impractical, they are used to deliver non-nuclear warhead. Such warheads, as a rule, and are referred to as normal.

To elaborate on this point is not necessary, as all the differences can be seen from the title. However, a nuclear weapon is a big and interesting topic that we will talk soon.

Intercontinental ballistic missile

As a rule, for delivery of nuclear warheads intended for Intercontinental missiles. They are the core of a “nuclear fist” or “nuclear cudgel”, which many say. Of course, to deliver a nuclear bomb to enemy territory you can on the plane, but at the modern level of development of air defense it is not a simple task. It is therefore easier to use Intercontinental missiles.

In Spite of this, a nuclear warhead can be equipped with even short-range missiles. However, in practice this does not make much sense, as applied to such missiles, as a rule, in regional conflicts.

the Flight of an Intercontinental missile.

According to the missile range, are divided into ”short-range missiles”, designed to hit targets at a distance of 500-1000 km, ”medium-range missiles” capable of carrying their deadly cargo to a distance of 1000-5500 km and ”Intercontinental missiles” that can and across the ocean to fly.

What is the fuel used in the rocket

When choosing the type of rocket fuel are the most emphasis on and what engine it will be equipped. Roughly we can say that all fuel types are divided mainly in the form of issuance, specific combustion temperatures and efficiency. Among the main types of engines stands solid, liquid, and combined ramjet.

In the simplest of solid fuel can cite the example of gunpowder, which made fireworks. When burned, it emits not a very large amount of energy, but it is enough for a conclusion to the height of several tens of meters colorful charge. In the beginning of the article I was talking about the Chinese arrows XI century. They are another example of solid propellant missiles.

a kind of gunpowder can also be called solid rocket fuel.

To combat missiles solid fuel produced by a different technology. Usually it is aluminum powder. The main advantage of such missiles is the ease of storage and the ability to work with them when they made. In addition, this fuel is relatively inexpensive.

The Downside of solid fuel engines is the weak capacity of deflection of the thrust vector. Therefore, to control for such missiles are often used for more small engines on a liquid hydrocarbon fuel. This hybrid bundle makes better use of the potential of each energy source.

Using combined systems that is good because it allows you to go from a complex system of refueling of the rocket just before launch and the need for pumping large amounts of fuel in case of cancellation.

It is worth noting not even cryogenic engine (fueled with liquefied gases at very low temperatures) and is not atomic, which is a lot of talk lately, and ramjet. This system works by creating air pressure in the engine when moving the rocket at high speed. Engine is the fuel injection into the combustion chamber and mixture is ignited, creating a pressure greater than the input. Such missiles can fly at a speedwhich is several times the speed of sound, but to start the engine should the pressure that is created at speed just above the speed of sound. That is why the launch needs to be used support equipment.

the missile guidance System

Nowadays almost all missiles have a guidance system. I do not need to explain that to get on target, which is located at a distance of hundreds or thousands of kilometers, with no accurate guidance system is simply impossible.

Guidance Systems and their combinations are many. Only among the main we can note the system command and guidance, wire guidance, guidance on the ground reference, the geophysical guidance, guidance by the beam, satellite guidance, as well as some other systems and their combination.

Missile guidance system under the wing of the plane.

System wire guidance has much in common with the system on the radio, but it has a higher resistance to interference, including, deliberately created by the enemy. In the case of such control commands are transmitted on the wire, which sends a rocket all the data required to defeat a target. Transmission in this way is only possible before the start time.

The guidance System on the ground reference consists of a highly sensitive altimeters that track the rocket position on the terrain and its relief. Such a system is used exclusively in cruise missiles due to their features, which we will discuss below.

System geophysical targeting based on constant comparison of the position angle of the rocket relative to the horizon and the stars with reference values laid it before the start. Internal control system at the slightest deviation returns the rocket to the course.

Hovering in the beam of the rocket need an auxiliary source of targeting. Generally, it is a ship or an airplane. External radar detects the target and produces its track if it moves. Rocket is focused on the signal itself is hovered over it.

The name of the system of satellite guidance speaks for itself. The targeting is performed by the coordinates of the global positioning system. Basically, the system is widely used in heavy Intercontinental missiles that leads to a static ground targets.

In addition to the above examples, there are also systems for laser, inertial, radiofrequency guidance, and others. Team management can provide the link between the command and guidance system. This will allow you to change the goal or to completely cancel the strike after the launch.

Due to such a wide range of guidance systems, modern missiles can not only blow up anything and anywhere, but also to ensure accuracy, which sometimes amounts to tens of centimeters.

What is ballistic missile

Many questions arise concerning the differences between ballistic and cruise missiles. In answering these questions, we can say that the differences are reduced to the trajectory.

As is often the case, the peculiarities lie in the title. And the name of the cruise missiles speaks for itself. Most of the way a cruise missile , representing in fact a plane. The presence of wings gives it a very high maneuverability, allowing not only to change the trajectory, deviating from the defenses, but even to fly at a height of several meters from the ground, skirting the terrain. So the rocket is not able to remain undetected for defense.

It's not a plane, a cruise missile.

This type of missile is lower in comparison with ballistic velocity, which is due, in particular, a higher drag. However, they are divided into subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic.

The First to reach speeds close to the speed of sound, but not exceed it. An example of such missiles can be a famous American cruise missiles ”Tomahawk”. Supersonic missiles can reach speeds of up to 2.5-3 times the speed of sound, and hypersonic is working on a lot of countries have to dial 5-6 times the speed of sound.

Another example of a cruise missile.

Ballistic missiles fly a little differently. They have a ballistic trajectory and most of his lines are in uncontrollable flight. Roughly speaking, it seems that the rocket just threw at the enemy like a stone. Of course, there is the exact calculation and guidance system, but this relatively simple method allows you to carry a very large charge, size, and weight which greatly exceeds what you get ”on Board” cruise missile.

The First scientific papers and theoretical work related to ballistic missiles, described in 1896, Tsiolkovsky. He described this type of aircraft and brought the relationship between the many components of the rocket and its flight. Rocket science is still an important part of the mathematical apparatus used in the design of missiles.

In many respects to this man we owe not only military but also civilians with rockets. K. E. Tsiolkovsky.

how fast rockets fly?

Before answering this question, let us understand what it is measured. Missilesfly pretty darn fast and we talk about the usual km/h or m/h is not necessary. The speed of many modern aircraft are measured in machs.

Unusual appeared not just. The name “Mach number” and the symbol “M” suggested in 1929 Jacob Ackeret. It is expressed as the ratio of the flow velocity or the body to the velocity of propagation of sound in the medium in which movement occurs. If you consider that the speed of propagation of sound waves at the earth's surface is approximately equal to 331 m/sec (about 1200 km/h), it is not difficult to guess that the unit can only be obtained if we divide 331 at 331. That is, the speed of one Mach (M) at the earth's surface is approximately 1200 km/h at altitude the speed of propagation of the sound wave decreases because of reduced air density.

Thus, one Mach at the earth's surface and an altitude of 20,000 meters differs by approximately 10 percent. And therefore the speed of the body, which it must develop to obtain the Mach number decreases. Simplistic among the townsfolk called the Mach number the speed of sound. If this simplification is not applied in exact calculations, it can be tolerated and considered approximately equal to the value at the earth's surface.

Missiles can be launched from the plane.

This speed is not easy to imagine, but cruise missiles can fly at speeds up to Mach 5 (about 7 000 km/h depending on altitude). Ballistic missiles and is capable of speeds up to Mach 23. That is the speed on the tests showed the rocket complex avant-garde. It turns out that at an altitude of 20,000 meters, it will be about 25 000 km/h.

Of Course, this speed is achieved in the final stages of the flight during the descent, but to imagine that a man-made object can move with such speed, it's still difficult.

As you can see, the rocket ceased to be just a bomb thrown far forward. It is a work of engineering art. That's just like that these designs were going in a peaceful direction and not intended for destruction.


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