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Tuesday, July 9, 2024

How Does a Guided Missile Work?

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Working of a Guided Missile 


So now you all know the difference between a cruise and a ballistic missile. First of all, Missile guidance refers to a variety of methods of guiding a missile or a guided bomb to its intended target. A cruise missile is a low-flying guided missile which is made to its target by an on-board computer. Today lets know how a missile is guided to its target.

Unguided rockets proved to be useful yet frequently inaccurate weapons when fired from aircraft during World War II. The use of guided missiles facilitates more accuracy and is low prone to attacks due to its low altitude path. Guided missiles work by tracking the location of the moving target in space. It includes using a radar or following its heat signature.


Guidance systems are divided into different categories. This is based upon whether their design is to attack fixed or moving targets. The division of these systems can be in two categories.

Go-Onto-Target (GOT)

A GOT missile can target either a moving or fixed target.

In every Go-Onto-Target system there are three subsystems:

  • Target tracker
  • Missile tracker
  • Guidance computer


Go-Onto-Location-in-Space (GOLIS)

The limitation of a GOLIS weapon is to a stationary or near-stationary target. Now, this weapon lacks a navigation tracker and the system must also contain preset information about the target.

Here are some of the systems used to implement various guidance control rules in missiles.

Line Of Sight system

The radar station tracks the target continuously (regardless of and emits a beam leading up to the target. The missile stays on the beam to hit the target. The Line of sight is the straight line between the missile and the target.


Pursuit system

Opposed to the LOS system, this guidance system involves only two players: the missile and the target. The missile automatically stays on the target. And also the missile is steered so that the velocity vector of the missile always points at the target.


Heat seeking missiles

An infrared optical sensor that tracks and pursues the heat signature of the target is installed at the head of the missile. These are also referred to as fire-and-forget missiles. You might have heard about the NAG missile, it falls under this category. This system is also known as infrared homing. This is because the missile seeks infrared radiation from the target to track it.


Proportional Navigation

Unlike the pursuit guidance system, such missiles don’t pursue the target. They just keep moving in a carefully calculated direction with a constant velocity to eventually smash into the target. It is based on the fact that two vehicles are on a collision course when their direct Line-of-Sight does not change direction as the range closes.

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DDE editor
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DDE Editorial Team comprises of researchers & content writers. The source of write ups are individual researches, references, informants and documentations. If you wish to submit a write up or information please write to contactus@defencedirecteducation.com



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