Surface To Surface Missile Engineering Essay

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A surface-to-surface missile (also, ground-to-ground missile, SSM or GTGM) is a guided projectile launched from a hand-held, vehicle mounted, trailer mounted or fixed installation or from a ship. They are often powered by a rocket motor or sometimes fired by an explosive charge, since the launching platform is typically stationary or moving slowly. They usually have fins and/or wings for lift and stability, although hyper-velocity or short-ranged missiles may utilise body lift or fly a ballistic trajectory. The Fieseler Fi 103 (also known as the "V1") was the first surface-to-surface missile.

Contemporary surface-to-surface missiles are usually guided. An unguided surface-to-surface missile is usually referred to as a rocket (for example, an RPG-7 or M72 LAW is an anti-tank rocket whereas a BGM-71 TOW or AT-2 Swatter is an anti-tank guided missile).


Surface-to-surface missiles are usually broken down into a number of categories:

Ballistic missiles travel in a high trajectory, motor burns out partway through flight

Tactical ballistic missile: Range between about 150 km and 300 km

Battlefield range ballistic missile (BRBM): Range less than 200 km

Theatre ballistic missile (TBM): Range between 300 km and 3500 km

Short-range ballistic missile (SRBM): Range 1000 km or less

Medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM): Range between 1000 km and 3500 km

Intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) or Long-range ballistic missile (LRBM): Range between 3500 km and 5500 km

Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM): Range greater than 5500 km

Submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM): Launched from ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), all current designs have intercontinental range.

Cruise missiles travel low to the ground, motor burns during entire flight, typical range 2,500 km (1,500 mi)

Anti-tank guided missiles travel low to the ground, may or may not burn motor throughout flight, typical range 5 km (3 mi)

Anti-ship missiles travel low over the ground and sea, often pop up or jink before striking ship, typical range 130 km (80 mi)


Achievement Of Surprise. For Max Damage.

Selection Of Tgt. Suitability And Criticality.

Accurate Tgt Loc. Tgt Acqn Imp.

Reaction Time. Reqd For Prep Of Msls.

Means Of Engagement. Tgts Which Can Not Be Engaged By AF.

Selection Of Warhead. As Per Tgt Characteristics.

AD Cov. Since Msls Vulnerable.

Mov. Restd To Min.


He Single Warhead.

He Pre-Fragmented Variable Mass Warhead.

Dual Purpose A Tk & Anti Pers Bomblets Warhead.

Incendiary Warhead.

Minelet Sub Munition .

Blast Cum Earth Shock Warhead


Strategic Tgts

Power Plants.

Oil Refineries.

Naval Dockyards.

Rly Marshalling Yards.

Comn Centres, Civ & Mil.

Mil Manufacturing Facilities.

Hy Industry In Sp Of Mil.

Airports & Air Assets

Tac Tgts

Conc & Assy As.

Tk Concs.

Lgs Instlns, Incl Fol & Amn.


Tac Comncen & Comd Posts.

Rdrs, Mw Towers, Satl Aes Etc

Air Fds.

Imp Brs In Depth, Comn Arteries.

Ashwin: New Surface-to-Surface Missile In The Offing?

Development of a new surface-to-surface missile that could be possibly named as 'Ashvin'.

The endo-atmospheric interceptor missile AAD, the missile used to engage the approaching 'enemy' missile at a height of around 15 kms from the surface of the earth could be used as a surface-to-surface missile in the days ahead.

The AAD, which is 7.5 mts long and has a solid rocket propeller with siliconised carbon jet vanes, has a range of over 150 kms and could achieve a maximum velocity of 1400 m/s.

The single stage liquid-fuelled Prithvi I with maximum warhead mounting capability of 1000 kg has a range of 150 km. It has an accuracy of 10- 50 metres, while the AAD is precise to 0.5 mts.

Prithvi II (Dhanush) is the Air Force version of 250 kms range and capacity to carry a payload of 500kg, while Prithvi III is the naval version of 350 km range with a payload of 500 kgs.

Ballistic missile

A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a sub-orbital ballistic flightpath with the objective of delivering one or more warheads (often nuclear) to a predetermined target. The missile is only guided during the relatively brief initial powered phase of flight and its course is subsequently governed by the laws of orbital mechanics and ballistics. To date, ballistic missiles have been propelled during powered flight by chemical rocket engines of various types.


A ballistic missile trajectory consists of three parts: the powered flight portion, the free-flight portion which constitutes most of the flight time, and the re-entry phase where the missile re-enters the Earth's atmosphere.

Ballistic missiles can be launched from fixed sites or mobile launchers, including vehicles (transporter erector launchers, TELs), aircraft, ships and submarines. The powered flight portion can last from a few tens of seconds to several minutes and can consist of multiple rocket stages.

When in space and no more thrust is provided, the missile enters free-flight. In order to cover large distances, ballistic missiles are usually launched into a high sub-orbital spaceflight; for intercontinental missiles the highest altitude (apogee) reached during free-flight is about 1200 km.

The re-entry stage begins at an altitude where atmospheric drag plays a significant part in missile trajectory, and lasts until missile impact.

Quasi ballistic missiles

A quasi ballistic missile (also called a semi ballistic missile) is a category of missile that has a low trajectory and/or is largely ballistic but can perform maneuvers in flight or make unexpected changes in direction and range.

The Russian Iskander-M cruises at hypersonic speed of 2100 - 2600 m/s [Mach 6 - 7] at a height of 50 km. The Iskander-M weighs 4615 kg carries a warhead of [710 - 800 kg] has a range of 480 Km and achieves a CEP of 5 - 7 meters. During flight it can maneuver at different altitudes and trajectories to evade anti-ballistic missile.


The Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW) is the first and only combat-proven, clean battlefield weapon of its kind in U.S. Air Force inventory. The SFW is designed to accurately detect and defeat a wide range of moving and stationary combat vehicles with minimal collateral damage, while not leaving a single dud. The SFW contains 40 smart Skeetâ„¢s that are each equipped with dual-mode passive infrared (IR) and active laser sensors. Each Skeetâ„¢ is designed with built in self-destruct features and a time out deactivation mode to render any unexploded ordnance (UXO) harmless within minutes of delivery, leaving a clean battlefield.

use of advanced, computer-driven technologies to design a munition that utilizes lasers as well as heat and altitude sensors to target a heat source. For example, combat vehicle engines. Once deployed, the smart Skeetâ„¢ and its two-color infrared (IR) sensor search for targets that match a defined set of IR requirements, while the laser sensor profiles those targets for improved aim. When a valid target is detected, the Skeetâ„¢ fires an Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) to effectively perforate hardened steel. If a target is not detected, the Skeetâ„¢ will self-destruct before reaching the ground. This occurs with a reliability rating of over 99%.

Facts About SFW

No Hazardous UXO. Each smart Skeetâ„¢ contains dual self-destruct and self neutralization features to ensure no hazardous UXO is left behind.

99% Reliability. SFW has been rigorously tested and combat proven showing a reliability rating of well over 99 percent.

Reduced Number of Warheads. A single SFW, using only 40 smart Skeetâ„¢s, can accomplish military missions that have historically required numerous legacy cluster bombs that disperse hundreds, possibly thousands, of indiscriminate bomblets that result in hazardous unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Low Collateral Damage on Battlefield. Each smart Skeetâ„¢ warhead contains only 2.2 lbs of explosive material and a 1.0 lb copper plate to apply a focused charge toward the target.

Advanced Sensors. Unlike legacy cluster bomblets, each SFW smart Skeetâ„¢ uses sensors, both infrared and laser, as well as sophisticated algorithms to detect and engage the target below it.

Cluster bomb

Cluster munitions or cluster bombs are air-dropped or ground-launched explosive weapons that eject smaller submunitions: a cluster of bomblets. The most common types are designed to kill enemy personnel and destroy vehicles. Other submunition-based weapons designed to destroy runways, electric power transmission lines, disperse chemical or biological weapons, or to scatter land mines have also been produced. Some submunition-based weapons can disperse non-munitions such as leaflets.

Because cluster bombs release many small bomblets over a wide area they pose risks to civilians both during attacks and afterwards. During attacks the weapons are prone to indiscriminate effects, especially in populated areas. Unexploded bomblets can kill or maim civilians long after a conflict has ended. Unexploded submunitions are costly to locate and remove.

Cluster munitions are prohibited for those nations that ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, adopted in Dublin, Ireland in May 2008. The Convention entered into force and became binding international law on 1 August 2010.

The Pentagon has notified the US Congress of its offer to sell India CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapons. [3]

General characteristics

Type: Freefall bomb

Weight: 927 pounds (420 kg)

Name: CBU-97 Sensor Fused Weapon (SFW)

Length: 92 inches (234 cm)

Diameter: 15.6 inches (40 cm)

Dispenser: SW-65 tactical dispenser

Bomblets: 10 Ã- BLU-108/B

Warhead: Armour Piercing

Unit Cost: $360,000 - baseline


Most anti-armor munitions contain shaped charge warheads to pierce the armor of tanks and armored fighting vehicles. In some cases, guidance is used to increase the likelihood of successfully hitting a vehicle. Modern guided submunitions, such as those found in the U.S. CBU-97 can use either a shaped charge warhead or an explosively formed penetrator. Unguided shaped-charge submunitions are designed to be effective against entrenchments that incorporate overhead cover. To simplify supply and increase battlefield effectiveness by allowing a single type of round to be used against nearly any target, submunitions that incorporate both fragmentation and shaped-charge effects are produced.

Types of cluster bombs

A basic cluster bomb consists of a hollow shell and then two to more than 2,000 submunitions contained within it. Some types are dispensers that are designed to be retained by the aircraft after releasing their munitions. The submunitions themselves may be fitted with small parachute retarders or streamers to slow their descent (allowing the aircraft to escape the blast area in low-altitude attacks).






Chemical weapons


Leaflet dispensing

Convention on Cluster Munitions

Taking affect on August 1, 2010, the "Convention on Cluster Munitions"[59] bans the stockpiling, use and transfer of virtually all existing cluster bombs and provides for the clearing up of unexploded munitions. It has been adopted by 108 countries, of which 38 have ratified it, but many of the world's major military powers including the United States, Russia and China are not signatories to the treaty.

CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon

The CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon is a United States Air Force 1,000-pound-class (450 kg) non-guided (freefall) Cluster Bomb Unit (CBU). It was developed and produced by Textron Defense Systems.

The CBU-97 consists of an SUU-66/B tactical munition dispenser that contains 10 BLU-108 submunitions. Each submunition contains four hockey-puck-shaped sensor-fused projectiles called Skeets. These detect targets, such as tanks, armored personnel carriers, trucks and other support vehicles, and fire an explosively formed penetrator.

The weapon is deployed by US Air Force tactical aircraft from altitudes of 200 feet (60 m) Above Ground Level (AGL) to 20,000 feet (6100 m) Mean Sea Level (MSL) at speeds of 250 to 650 knots (460 to 1,200 km/h).[1]

The CBU-97 was first deployed during Operation Allied Force when the United States and NATO entered the Kosovo War, but were not used. Sensor-fused weapons were first fired in combat during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

When the CBU-97 is used in conjunction with the Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser guidance tail kit, it is designated as CBU-105.

Anti-tank guided missile

An anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) or anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) is a guided missile primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily-armored tanks and other armored fighting vehicles.

ATGMs range in size from shoulder-launched weapons which can be transported by a single soldier, to larger tripod-mounted weapons which require a squad or team to transport and fire, to vehicle and aircraft mounted missile systems.

The introduction of smaller, man-portable ATGMs with larger warheads to the modern battlefield has given infantry the ability to defeat light and medium armored tanks at great ranges, though main battle tanks using composite and reactive armors have proven to resistant to smaller ATGMs. Earlier infantry anti-tank weapons such as anti-tank rifles, anti-tank rockets and magnetic anti-tank mines had limited armor-penetration abilities and/or required a soldier to approach the target closely.

First-generation manually command guided MCLOS missiles to become operational and to see combat was the French Nord SS.10 in the early 1950s which require input from an operator using a joystick or similar device to steer the missile to the target. The disadvantage is that the operator must keep the sights cross hairs on the target and then steer the missile into the cross hairs-ie the line-of-sight. To do this the operator must be well trained (spending hundreds of hours on a simulator) and must remain stationary and in view of the target during the flight time of the missile. Because of this, the operator is vulnerable while guiding the missile.

Second-generation semi-automatically command guided SACLOS missiles require the operator to only keep the sights on the target until impact. Automatic guidance commands are sent to the missile through wires or radio, or the missile relies on laser marking or a TV camera view from the nose of the missile. Examples are the Russian 9M133 Kornet and the American Hellfire I missiles. Again the operator must remain stationary during the missile's flight.

Third-generation guidance systems rely on a laser, electro-optical imager,(IIR) seeker or a W band radar seeker in the nose of the missile. Once the target is identified the missile needs no further guidance during flight; it is "fire-and-forget", and the operator is free to retreat. However, fire-and-forget missiles are more subject to electronic countermeasures than MCLOS and SACLOS missiles. Examples include the Russian Vikhr, German PARS 3 LR, Israeli Spike and the Indian Nag. But due to the ads of the manufactures of various antitank missiles in the past and today there is some confusion and dispute as to whether the newer antitank missiles are 3rd generation or what some are claiming are 4th generation antitank missiles.

Most modern ATGMs have shaped-charge high explosive (HEAT) warheads, designed specifically for penetrating armor. Tandem-charge missiles attempt to defeat ERA protected armor. The small initial charge sets off the ERA while the follow up main charge attempts to penetrate the main armor. Top-attack weapons such as the Indian Nag and the Swedish Bill are designed to focus the explosion down through an armored fighting vehicle's thinner turret-roof or upper-hull armor.

All ATGMs are based on laser, radar, command, predicted flight path or heat guided systems. Therefore RPGs and rocket launchers are not considered Anti Tank Guided Missiles.


Countermeasures against ATGMs include spaced, perforated, and composite armour, explosive reactive armour (ERA), jammers like the Russian Shtora, and active protection systems (APS) like the Israeli Trophy and the Russian Arena. Traditionally, before "fire-and-forget" ATGMs were used, the most effective countermeasure was to open fire at the location where the missile was fired from: either the operator would be forced to take cover or he would be killed.

A closeup of the Indian Nag Missile head, with the Imaging Infrared (IIR) Seeker

PARS 3 LR fire-and-forget missile of the German Army.

The RAF's Brimstone missile is a fire and forget anti-tank missile.

The 9M133 Kornet Tripod-Mounted ATGM of the Russian Ground Forces