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Mechanical Seminar Topics -INTRODUCTION

Guided Missiles, self-propelled aerial projectiles, usually containing conventional or nuclear explosives, guided in flight towards a target either by remote control or by internal mechanisms. Guided missiles vary widely in size and type, ranging from large strategic ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads to small, portable rockets carried by foot soldiers. Although most are military weapons with explosive warheads, others may carry scientific instruments for gathering information within or above the Earth’s atmosphere.

Guided missiles consist of three separate systems: power source, guidance and control mechanism, and warhead or payload. Power sources normally are either self-contained rocket motors or air-breathing jet engines, but may also be airfoils or outside booster charges from ramp or tube launchers. The type of guidance and control system employed depends on the type of missile and the nature of the target. Inertial guidance systems sense the position of the flight path in relation to a fixed target; other guidance systems use a variety of more active sensors to help direct the missile towards a moving objective. Payloads are generally warheads (bombs) designed for specific missions, from piercing armour plate to destroying entire urban areas.

Before World War II guided missiles were limited to experimental, pilotless aircraft controlled by radio. During the war, however, rapid technological advances in such fields as aerodynamics, electronics, rocket and jet propulsion, radar, servo-mechanisms, inertial guidance and control systems, and aircraft structures, coupled with the intensive search for better weapons, led to the construction, testing, and finally mass production of the modern guided missile.


Missiles are guided towards targets by remote control or by internal guidance mechanisms. Remote-control missiles are linked to a human or mechanical target locator through trailing wires, wireless radio, or some other type of signal system. Internal guidance mechanisms have optical, radar, infrared, or some other type of sensor that can detect heat, light, or electronic emissions from the target. Most missiles have some type of movable fins or airfoil that can be used to direct the course of the missile towards the target while in flight.

The inertial guidance systems of ballistic missiles are more complex. Missile velocity, pitch, yaw, and roll are sensed by internal gyroscopes and accelerometers, and course corrections are made mechanically by slightly altering the thrust of the rocket exhaust by means of movable vanes or deflectors. In larger rockets, small external jets are also used to alter direction.

Mechanical Seminar Topics
Guidance system with radar – Mechanical Seminar Topics

Advanced guidance concepts

Responding to after-action reports from pilots who employed laser and/or satellite guided weapons, Boeing has developed a Laser JDAM (LJDAM) to provide both types of guidance in a single kit. Based on the existing JDAM configurations, a laser guidance package is added to a GPS/INS guided weapon to increase the overall accuracy of the weapons. Raytheon has developed the Enhanced Paveway family, which adds GPS/INS guidance to their Paveway family of laser-guidance packages. These “hybrid” laser and GPS guided weapons permit the carriage of fewer weapons types, while retaining mission flexibility, because these weapons can be employed equally against moving and fixed targets, or targets of opportunity. For instance, a typical weapons load on an F-16 flying in the Iraq War included a single 2,000-lb JDAM and two 1000-lb LGBs. With LJDAM, and the new Small Diameter Bomb, these same aircraft can carry more bombs if necessary, and have the option of satellite or laser guidance for each weapon release.

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