Missiles are used in war to destroy military targets. Missiles can carry explosives or other destructive loads. The loads a missile may carry are called a "payload". This payload is not always harmful to people. For example, cruise missiles have carried "graphite bombs" to destroy electrical power systems without much collateral damage.
Types of missilesEdit
The two main kinds of missiles are simple "rockets" and "guided missiles". A rocket is no longer controlled once it has been launched. Most guided missile are also propelled by a rocket engine but can be controlled after it has been launched. Some missiles used in anti-aircraft warfare, such as the AIM-9 Sidewinder, guide themselves with temperature. Others guide themselves by radar or are under radio control.
Cruise missiles are big missiles that carry large payloads to hit ground targets or to badly damage or sink ships. Ballistic missiles look similar, but they don't keep the engine off and stay at a lower height to be more accurate. Instead, they go high up and turn off the engine and crash into the target with the engine off. The Topol M is the missile in the picture and is a ballistic missile.
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