|Unconventional control systems
is a broad category that includes a number of advanced technologies. Most
techniques involve some kind of thrust vectoring. Thrust vectoring is
defined as a method of deflecting the missile exhaust to generate a
component of thrust in a vertical and/or horizontal direction. This
additional force points the nose in a new direction causing the missile to
turn. Another technique that is just starting to be introduced is called
reaction jets. Reaction jets are usually small ports in the surface of a
missile that create a jet exhaust perpendicular to the vehicle surface and
produce an effect similar to thrust vectoring.
Unconventional control technologies
These techniques are most often applied to high off-bore sight air-to-air
missiles like AIM-9X Sidewinder and IRIS-T to provide exceptional
maneuverability. The greatest advantage of such controls is that they can
function at very low speeds or in a vacuum where there is little or no
airflow to act on conventional fins. The primary drawback, however, is that
they will not function once the fuel supply is exhausted.
Missiles with unconventional controls
Examples of missiles employing unconventional controls are shown above.
Note that most missiles equipped with unconventional controls do not rely on
these controls alone for maneuverability, but only as a supplement to
aerodynamic surfaces like canards and tail fins.