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Guided Missile: History and Effectiveness Essay

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Updated: Feb 4th, 2022

The military has one of the most advanced technologies in the world, as soldiers have to face one of the harshest conditions in their service. Guided missile has become one of the widely used weapon systems and has proven to be very effective. It creates many possibilities of attack and lowers the risk for people using such weapons. The first guided missiles started to appear at the end of World War II. Germany was the country that has made its existence possible but the first types did not have a power system, so it was a predecessor of the modern guided missiles. During the War years Americans had many prototypes and working versions of the guided missile but did not have an opportunity to test and use them all. After the war ended there were a number of experiments that allowed a closer familiarity with the possibilities and strategic advancements of the missile.

The United States have focused on the development of strategic missiles that could deliver an atomic charge to the enemy’s deepest territories. The missiles are labeled as “ASM” air-surface missile or “AGM” air-ground missile. The missiles differ in their specifications and purposes in several things. The distance of attack is one of the key roles of the missile, as well as its speed and mass.. The characteristics of flight also differentiate types of guided missiles used in combat. The navigation system itself gives a unique use to each missile, not to mention the propelling forces and several other parameters. The missiles differ in their purpose and qualifications. Tactical guided missiles are used for an attack of targets in the tactical zone of the enemy. Usually, stealth planes and bomb carriers have this type of missile. The distance is around 100 kilometers and the mass is from tens to hundreds of kilograms. The navigation and targeting systems are based on video targeting or self targeting. Operational-tactical missiles are used for important targets in the far off territory of the enemy. They are used in the frontal combat but also in strategic bombers. These have a larger distance of flight and mass, comparing to tactical missiles. The distance is several hundred kilometers and the mass is one to two tones.

The targeting system uses many and almost all kinds of systems. This type of missile is also used on battle ships a long distance away. Strategically, guided missiles have the largest distance of operation, more than 1000 kilometers and weigh more than one ton. The primary load is atomic, which gives them an important privilege and function. The guided missiles are differentiated according to the targets they were made to hit. Those used against battle ships have larger mass and distance of flight and radio locating guiding system. The missiles used against radio locating systems of the enemy have a passive radio locating system of targeting, as to not be spotted by the enemy’s equipment. And there are missiles used against tanks and their armor. These have a lesser mass and distance of flight. Ballistic guided missiles have a trajectory that does not use the aerodynamic lifting force. The airplane that carries the missile is used to increase the distance of the missile’s targeting. Winged missiles have a system airplane-missile. The force that propels the missile is concentrated in the wing with an aerodynamic profile. Those that are used on targets that are moving and maneuvering, have a cross wing and for those that do not maneuver have a flat wing.

Video or TV-guided targeting is used on missiles from an outside source. It is a camera that is set up on the missile, which is controlled by the operator. It also has the ability to have an autonomic mode where it reaches a destination automatically and then the operator starts taking part in its navigation. It has more advanced options comparing to other rockets, as it has more maneuvering options and speed. Radio command missiles receive signal from the carrier plane and are transferred to the missile via radio signal. For such missiles a tracer is used, which also can have an optical sensor that traces the missile and calculates the trajectory of flight to the target. This sort of navigation is widely used in any weather conditions and time of day. It is also very secretive but has a disadvantage in maneuvering and visual locating system. Radio beam and laser beam guidance systems are commonly used with a focused beam of a signal or laser pointer. The pilot holds the object of attack in line, the tracer of the missile and the sights. Radio beam targeting is sometimes called a method of three points targeting. Laser targeting uses a laser beam that is set up by the source local or distant. Thermal and movement missile guiding are very common, as they use heat and movement tracing of the target, which makes them very effective in helicopters and other air combat situations.

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