eli5 – Military rocket science


What is the main principle/way of work in high-precision missiles which can arrive at defined coordinates from the very long distance?

Is this principle different from the anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles?

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2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

very accurate guidance systems. and the ability for the rocket to make fine tuned adjustments to their flight path.

guidance systems typically utilize a variety of methods, such as radar, gps, target painting, etc. you can program a flight path into the guidance computer, and the computer will compare the flight path against data available such as radar, gps, etc and account for weather/wind that can push the rocket off the path, and then use it’s onboard engines or stabilizers to adjust the path accordingly. it’s very very complex.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Guidance systems work by determining the projectile’s position and velocity vector (its direction and speed, usually via GPS/INS, but also by radar tracking), determining the target’s position and velocity vector (either known in advance, or acquired by radar, or infrared/electro-optical camera, or passive EM detection), calculating what corrections are needed to make both vectors meet, then applying these corrections to whatever maneuvering system with which the projectile is equipped.

This cycle happens many times per second.