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Missile vs Rocket | Difference between Missile and Rocket

This page compares Missile vs Rocket and mentions difference between Missile and Rocket.

Missile

missile

• It is a weapon which has warhead, flies with own propulsion system, and its flight path is controlled and guided by control system.
• A guided missile is a rocket propelled missile whose path can be controlled during flight either by radio signals or by internal homing devices.
• Based on their launch methods, there are two types of missiles viz. Ballistic Missile and Cruise Missile. A ballistic missile is a missile which has a ballistic trajectory over most of its flight path, regardless of whether or not it is a weapon delivery vehicle. A cruise missile is an unmanned self propelled guided vehicle which sustains flight through aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path and whose primary mission is to place an ordnance or special payload on a target.

Based on different aspects missiles can be classified as follows.
➤Type : Cruise missile and Ballistic missile >>
➤Launch Mode: Surface to Surface missile, surface to Air missile, Surface (coast) to sea missile, air to air missile, air to surface missile, sea to sea missile, sea to surface (coast) missile, anti-tank missile.
➤Range: Short range missile, medium range missile, intermediate range ballistic missile, intercontinental ballistic missile.
➤Propulsion: solid propulsion, liquid propulsion, hybrid propulsion etc.
➤Guidance Systems : Wire guidance, command guidance, terrestrial guidance, inertial guidance, beam rider guidance, laser guidance, RF and GPS reference

Rocket

rocket

• It is a vehicle which relies on the reaction of rocket motor exhaust gas to fly.
• It is used to transport human and other devices in space where it is fueled in such a way that it has high speed enough to travel outside of the gravity.
• All rocket engine produce thrust by accelerating a working fluid which are of many types. There are many ways to produce acceleration in rocket.
• There are two main types of chemical rocket engines viz. liquid rockets and solid rockets.
• Refer advantages and disadvantages of reusable rocket >> .

Difference between Missile and Rocket

Following table mentions difference between missile and rocket with respect to various specifications/features.

Features Missile Rocket
Motor Rocket motor or Jet engine or combined engine etc. Rocket motor
Payload Warhead Warhead (only when used as weapon)
Guidance system Must have Free or guided rocket
Usage It is never used as a spacecraft. A rocket is sometimes called a spacecraft.
Speed Lower Higher
Accuracy More Less
Examples Agni (Ballistic missile), Brahmos (Cruise missile) made by INDIA AIR-2 Genie (Air to air rocket) made by USA
R4M rocket (air to air) made by Germany
CRV7 (air to surface) made by CANADA

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