In a modern military, a missile is a self-propelled guided weapon system, as opposed to a unguided self-propelled munition, referred to as just a rocket (weapon) . Missiles have four system components: targeting and/or guidance, flight system, engine, and warhead. Missiles come in types adapted for different purposes: surface-to-surface and air-to-surface missiles (ballistic, cruise, anti-ship, anti-tank, etc.), surface-to-air missiles (anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic), air-to-air missiles, and anti-satellite missiles. All known existing missiles are designed to be propelled during powered flight by chemical reactions inside a rocket engine, jet engine, or other type of engine.[citation needed] Non-self-propelled airborne explosive devices are generally referred to as shells and usually have a shorter range than missiles.

An ordinary English-language usage predating guided weapons is simply any thrown object, such as items thrown at players by rowdy spectators at a sporting event.[1]

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License