A cruise missile

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A cruise missile

Post by lunamoonfang on Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:01 am

A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards its target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy. Modern cruise missiles can travel at supersonic or high subsonic speeds, are self-navigating, and can fly on a non-ballistic, extremely low altitude trajectory. They are distinct from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in that they are used only as weapons and not for reconnaissance. In a cruise missile, the warhead is integrated into the vehicle and the vehicle is always sacrificed in the mission.

Cruise missile designs fundamentally derive from the German V-1 of World War II. Advances in transistor and computer technology allowed self-correcting avionic and aeronautical designs that allowed missiles to be guided in flight, as opposed to only at launch. These advances developed into guided missiles and guided bombs, and later into the modern cruise missile.
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