Ballistic missile: what is it? – The modern world, imbued with incessant local conflicts and foreign policy tensions between countries, is constantly threatened by major global wars. Each individual state understands that in the event of war, victory will come to those whose weapons are better and more powerful.
This has always been the case since time immemorial. It was the war that drove progress – all inventions for civilian needs were only a by-product of the invention of military equipment. In the twenty-first century, the weapons produced have a monstrous destructive power. A good example of the most powerful weapon is a ballistic missile.
What is a ballistic missile?
militaryezyinfo.com – A ballistic missile is one of the types of mass destruction instruments, operating at a long-range. It flies on the initially set parabolic trajectory and cannot be controlled during the flight.
There are varieties of multistage missiles similar to those launched into space to deliver satellites into orbit – during the flight, parts of the rocket are detached from the base to increase speed due to impulse and decrease the total mass. Such missiles are launched either from silos located in the ground or from mobile transportation units.
Missile classification by country
Missiles are classified by each state differently, but three types of missiles can be considered common:
- Short-range missiles.
- Medium range.
- Intercontinental missiles.
Each of the types has its own tasks and a maximum length of a pass. In the case of short-range missiles, it is a thousand kilometers, the average range has a launch radius of 5.5 thousand kilometers, and intercontinental missiles aimed at hitting the enemy at the other end of the earth, have a range sufficient to fly 50% of the globe.
Such missiles are the kind of missiles that start with nuclear warheads. The longest flight time is no more than 30 minutes, and its giant speed makes it virtually invulnerable to air defense – it simply flies faster than a missile designed to destroy it.
How does a ballistic missile work?
The main feature of its work is that almost the entire duration of its flight the missile behaves exactly like an ordinary abandoned object, not subject to impulses and accelerations from engines.
All its way can be divided into two stages. In the first stage, the rocket sets the necessary speed with the help of jet thrust. Once the required acceleration has been achieved, the engine and fuel tank are detached from the rocket to lighten its weight. This is followed by the second free-fall phase.
Using the missile for civilian purposes
The device of a ballistic missile and the manner of its behavior in the air differs little from rockets launched into space into the orbit of the Earth. Due to this convenience, it is possible to create universal devices that will be used for peaceful or military purposes, depending on the internal content.
Nowadays, there are several types of universal rockets, which were initially created for the purpose of the launching of various military satellite equipment into planet orbit. The whole class of missiles is intended for variable use. It should be understood that one and the same missile cannot be re-equipped for other purposes. Though they have a common base, but are assembled at different plants and are not subject to mutual replacement.
History of missile creation
In 1957, the world’s first intercontinental missile was successfully launched. Its structure was exactly multistage, and its radius of destruction implied successful delivery of the charge to any point of the planet. The development of this weapon was initiated even ten years before its launch. A large number of scientists as well as organizations were involved in research of flight possibilities and the creation of the missile control system.
Specially for testing such weapons in Kazakhstan was built a range, construction of which was completed in one year with the launch of the rocket. However, the first tests allowed to reveal a great number of disadvantages of this missile. Only with the fourth time after numerous improvements, the missile was able to hit the conventional enemy, having successfully completed the tests at the range. Replacement with newer weapons took place only 11 years after the first prototype began to be used.