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The difference between Ballistic and Cruise Missile is asked often in the SSB interviews and DRDO Interviews. These kinds of Missiles are important in the arsenal of any Military Power in the world.

Brahmos Missile

Difference between Ballistic and Cruise Missile:

Ballistic MissileCruise Missile
The engine of a Ballistic Missile is similar to a rocket engineCruise Missile engines are quite similar to turbojet engines.
It is propelled for a very short period of timeIt is propelled throughout its flight time
The Long-range Missiles exit the earth’s atmosphere and re-nters it Cruise Missile operates within the earth’s atmosphere
The range of a Ballistic Missile is 300 km to 12,000The range of Cruise Missile is within 600 km
The aim of Ballistic missiles is to destroy the bigger areas
ex: a city
The aim of Cruise missiles is to destroy the smaller areas
ex: Hideouts or Ships
It is un-guided in most of its flight timeIt is guided throughout its flight time
It operates on non-air breathing engines
ex: Solid and Liquid Rocket Motors
It operates on air-breathing engines i.e. compressed air is necessary for combustion
Precision in less, as it has to hit a larger areaPrecision and accuracy are more, as the target is a smaller area
It can carry a heavy payloadPayload carrying capacity is less
Multiple Warheads can be deliveredSingle Warhead is delivered
Ex: Agni and Pruthvi series MissilesEx: BrahMos and Nirbhay Missiles

Also read: DRDO Abhyas – All You Need To Know

Also read: What is IAF’s alternative for phasing out MiG-21 Bisons

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Amaranath Siddaraddi
Amaranath Siddaraddi
PG in Defence Technology, SSB Recommended (21 SSB), Military and Aviation Geek, Exploring the new sphere of Defence.

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