Missile

related topics
{ship, engine, design}
{war, force, army}
{language, word, form}

The word missile usually now means a self-propelled guided weapon system, but it may refer to any thrown or launched object.

Contents

Etymology

The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send". In military parlance, powered/guided munitions are broadly categorised as follows:

  • A powered, guided munition that travels through the air or space is known as a missile (or guided missile.)
  • A powered, unguided munition is known as a rocket.
  • Unpowered munitions are called bombs whether guided or not; unpowered, guided munitions are known as guided bombs or "smart bombs".
  • Unguided munitions that are fired from a gun are known as shells.
  • Powered munitions that travel through water are called torpedoes.

A common further sub-division is to consider ballistic missile to mean a munition that follows a ballistic trajectory and cruise missile to describe a munition that generates lift.

Full article ▸

related documents
Vanguard class submarine
Enzian
5.56x45mm NATO
UH-60 Black Hawk
Tripropellant rocket
Bathyscaphe Trieste
Resolution class submarine
Juan de la Cierva
Area rule
Boeing Harpoon
Muzzle brake
Apollo 9
Fire balloon
Infantry fighting vehicle
United States Naval reactor
Ohio class submarine
Shenzhou spacecraft
Anti-ship missile
German Type XXIII submarine
Air-augmented rocket
Thermobaric weapon
John Ericsson
Tupolev Tu-144
USS Monitor
Tiltrotor
P-80 Shooting Star
Gatling gun
Trebuchet
Valve
Shaped charge