Difference between Ballistic and Cruise missiles

Discussion in 'Pakistan Strategic Forces' started by Faizan Qadri, Jan 31, 2010.

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  1. Faizan Qadri
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    Faizan Qadri FULL MEMBER

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    I have heard a large variety of ballistic and cruise missiles in Pakistan Army but I no longer knew what are the main differences between them. please give me details about these two types of missiles.
  2. SMC
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    SMC <b>PDF VETERAN</b>

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    Ballistic missiles travel at much higher altitude and at faster speeds. But they can be seen by radars. Cruise missiles travel at a very low altitude (often slower in speed) but hard to detect by radars.
  3. Faizan Qadri
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    Faizan Qadri FULL MEMBER

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    Thank you very much for this useful information.
  4. Awesome
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    Awesome RETIRED

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    Check out the How a cruise missile works thread.
  5. Super Falcon
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    Super Falcon ELITE MEMBER

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    bullistick missile too check it out sir
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  6. jagjitnatt
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    jagjitnatt SENIOR MEMBER

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    ballistic missiles are big, heavy and expensive. They are basically warheads on a rocket. These missile are launched vertically and only from ground or submarines. These missiles reach heights beyond the atmosphere and then re-enter the atmosphere at the target destination. Their engines switch off after the initial boost and while re entry the missile is accelerated by gravity.

    Cruise missiles are smaller, less powerful, lighter and less expensive. They donot exit the atmosphere but rather hug the ground and stay very close to the ground to prevent detection be radars. Their engine remains on at all the time of their path. They are less destructive because of size and weight of warhead. They can be launched from aircraft also.

    I hope that explained it.
  7. conworldus
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    conworldus FULL MEMBER

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    LMAO Cruise missiles are not necessarily less powerful than ballistic missiles!! Cruise missiles are guided the whole way and ballistic missiles are guided only in the inital and final stage. Ballistic missiles rely on gravity pull in its ex-atmosphere phase to remain on course.
  8. SABRE
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    SABRE FULL MEMBER

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    @Jagjitnatt;

    You are basically right. Couldn't have made it easier myself. But here are few additions:

    They can also be launched from surface ships i.e. Indian Dhanush.

    Depends if they are carrying a nuclear warhead or conventional, but yes compared to ballistic missile they have lesser destructive capability - for the reasons you pointed out (warhead weight etc ...).