ACM—Advanced Cruise Missile. ACMs have stealth technology and high
accuracy. See also cruise missile.
ALCM—Air/Land Cruise Missile. ALCMs can be launched in the air or from
land. See also cruise missile.
Cold launch - Cold-launch missiles use cryogenic propellants, which are very
cold, liquefied gasses, as fuel.
Cruise missile - An intermediate-range missile (3,000-5,500 kilometers) that sustains flight through the use of aerodynamic lift. Cruise missiles may carry either a nuclear or conventional warhead and be launched from the air, ground, or sea.
Gravity bomb—Sometimes called a "city buster," the gravity bomb is an
earth-penetrating weapon capable of taking out underground targets through
ICBM—Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. ICBMs have a range of over 5,500 kilometers.
Inertial guidance - Inertially guided missiles use the law of inertia to fly to
their targets from the launch site. Although there is no contact between the
launching site and the missile after launch, the inertially guided missile can
make corrections to its flight path with amazing precision using meters that
sense air currents, altitude, and speed.
IRBM—Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile. IRBMs have a range of 3,000 to 5,500 kilometers.
Liquid fuel—Rocket engines that burn liquid fuel store two liquid chemicals,
a fuel and an oxidizer.
MIRV—Multiple Independently-launched Re-entry Vehicles. MIRV missiles can
carry up to ten independently targeted warheads.
NPT—Treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons
PBV—Post-Boost Vehicle. The post-boost vehicle system is made up of a
maneuvering rocket and a guidance and control system. The vehicle rides on top
of the boost system and guides the missile after it has been launched, or
Solid fuel—Solid fuel rockets are combustion-chamber tubes packed with a
solid-form propellant that contains both fuel and oxidizer.
SRAM—Short Range Attack Missile. SRAMs have a range of up to 1,000
Stellar-aided guidance—Stellar-guided missiles move according to a
predetermined path, during which the missile's course is adjusted continuously
by reference to the stars.
Terminal guidance—Many missiles are programmed to hit a precise target
before they are launched. Missiles with terminal guidance are not
pre-programmed and are precision-guided by remote control only as they approach
a target area.
Terrain-mapping guidance—Terrain-mapping guidance, also called TerCom
guidance, allows a missile to match a picture of the terrain in its "brain"
(with the target marked on it) with a picture of the terrain that it generates
in flight for high accuracy.
Turbofan propulsion—Missiles with turbofan propulsion use a large fan,
similar to a jet-engine fan, to move through the air. Cruise missiles have
TerCom guidance—Terrain-Comparison guidance, also called terrain-mapping
guidance, allows a missile to match a picture of the target terrain in its
"brain" with a picture of the terrain that it generates in flight for high