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Command Guidance

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Command Guidance

Command guidance is similar to beam riding in that the target is tracked by an external radar. However, a second radar also tracks the missile itself. The tracking data from both radars are fed into a ground based computer that calculates the paths of the two vehicles.

 

Command guidance
Command guidance

This computer also determines what commands need to be sent to the missile control surfaces to steer the missile on an intercept course with the target. These commands are transmitted to a receiver on the missile allowing the missile to adjust its course. An example of command guidance is the Russian SA-2 surface-to-air missile used against US aircraft in North Vietnam.

Also note that command guidance is not limited just to radar. Another method that falls under command guidance is the use of wire guided systems. In this technique, commands are sent to the missile through a conventional wire or fiber optic cable that reels out from the missile back to its launcher. Wire guidance is often used on anti-tank missiles like TOW, which can be launched from both ground vehicles and helicopters. Many naval torpedoes fired from submarines also use wire guidance.

 

 


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Last modified: 10/12/05.