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Rocket and Missile system

The rocket and missile systems, are any of a variety of weapons systems that deliver explosive warheads to their targets by means of rocket propulsion.


The rocket propulsion is a unique member of the family of jet-propulsion engines that includes turbojet, pulse-jet, and ramjet systems. The rocket engine is different from these in that the elements of its propulsive jet (that is, the fuel and oxidizer) are self-contained within the vehicle. Therefore, the thrust produced is independent of the medium through which the vehicle travels, making the rocket engine capable of flight beyond the atmosphere or propulsion underwater. The turbojet, pulse-jet, and ramjet engines, on the other hand, carry only their fuel and depend on the oxygen content of the air for burning. For this reason, these varieties of jet engine are called air-breathing and are limited to operation within the Earth’s atmosphere.

The difference between a rocket and a missile is that while a missile has a guidance system or brain to get it to its destination a rocket just goes where it is initially pointed. The guidance system can be fairly simple like the infrared seeker on the small, shoulder-fired, Stinger missile. The missile detects the heat emitted in the exhaust of a jet and guides itself to the hottest spot – right up the tailpipe.

A rocket, on the other hand, like the Black Brant goes straight up in the air carrying scientific payloads for NASA and others. It is fired out of a tower or from a rail, both of which can be tilted to compensate for wind conditions so the rocket flies fairly straight and stays on the missile range.

Tactical guided missiles are shorter-ranged weapons designed for use in the immediate combat area. Long-range, or strategic, guided missiles are of two types, cruise and ballistic. Cruise missiles are powered by air-breathing engines that provide almost continuous propulsion along a low, level flight path.


A ballistic missile is propelled by a rocket engine for only the first part of its flight; for the rest of the flight the unpowered missile follows an arcing trajectory, small adjustments being made by its guidance mechanism. Strategic missiles usually carry nuclear warheads, while tactical missiles usually carry high explosives.

Missiles are usually divided into four large categories: the surface-to-air missile; the surface-to-surface missile; the air-to-air missile; and the air-to-surface missile.

A surface-to-air missile is traditionally one fired from the earth´s surface to shoot down airplanes. The Stinger, Patriot, Chaparral, Nike Ajax, Nike Hercules, Talos and Hawk are just a few examples of surface to-air missiles.

A surface-to-surface missile is one fired at ground targets. The old German V-2 rocket was one of the original surface-to-surface missiles and could carry a 2,000-pound explosive to a target 80 miles away. Other surface-to-surface missiles tested at White Sands include the Loon, Redstone, Sergeant, Corporal, Lance, Pershing and Army Tactical Missile System.

An air-to-air missile is fired by one aircraft against another. Some air-to-air missiles  are the Sidewinder, Genie and Falcon. Like the air-to-air missiles, the air-to-ground missiles are typically developed and tested by the Air Force and Navy.



There are four major systems in a full scale rocket; the structural system, the payload system, the guidance system, and the propulsion system.


The structural system, or frame, is similar to the fuselage of an airplane. The frame is made from very strong but light weight materials, like titanium or aluminum, and usually employs long “stringers” which run from the top to the bottom which are connected to “hoops” which run around around the circumference. The “skin” is then attached to the stringers and hoops to form the basic shape of the rocket. The skin may be coated with a thermal protection system to keep out the heat of air friction during flight and to keep in the cold temperatures needed for certain fuels and oxidizers. Fins are attached to some rockets at the bottom of the frame to provide stability during the flight.


The payload system of a rocket depends on the rocket’s mission. The earliest payloads on rockets were fireworks for celebrating holidays. The payload of the German V2, shown in the figure, was several thousand pounds of explosives. Following World War II, many countries developed guided ballistic missiles armed with nuclear warheads for payloads. The same rockets were modified to launch satellites with a wide range of missions; communications, weather monitoring, spying, planetary exploration, and observatories, like the Hubble Space Telescope. Special rockets were developed to launch people into earth orbit and onto the surface of the Moon.


The guidance system of a rocket may include very sophisticated sensors, on-board computers, radars, and communication equipment to maneuver the rocket in flight. Many different methods have been developed to control rockets in flight. The V2 guidance system included small vanes in the exhaust of the nozzle to deflect the thrust from the engine. Modern rockets typically rotate the nozzle to maneuver the rocket. The guidance system must also provide some level of stability so that the rocket does not tumble in flight.


Rockets and Missiles Market

The global Rockets and Missiles market size is projected to grow from USD 58.3 billion in 2021 to USD 73.8 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 4.8% from 2021 to 2026.

The missile segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR rate for the rockets and missiles market during the forecast period

A missile plays an important role in rockets and missiles majorly for land, air, and marine platforms. The missile segment has been further sub-segmented further segmented into cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. The missile segment is projected to reach USD 57.1 billion by 2026. In the Asia Pacific region, this segment is projected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period.


The hypersonic segment is projected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period

Based on speed, the rockets and missiles market has been segmented into subsonic, supersonic, and hypersonic. Hypersonic rockets and missiles are equipped with a propulsion system to enable them to attain a speed of Mach 5 or higher, which is five times faster than the speed of sound. Hypersonic precision-guided weapons are difficult to counter due to their high speed. Currently, these weapons are in a development phase and are expected to be operational in the near future.


The solid propulsion segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR rate for the rockets and missiles market during the forecast period

Based on propulsion type, the rockets and missiles market has been segmented into Solid, Liquid, Hybrid Propulsion, Ramjet, Turbojet and Scramjet. Solid propulsion uses solid propellants to boost missiles and rockets. Solid propellants consist of a homogenous mixture of various composites, which are easier to store and handle. These systems cost less and offer a large amount of thrust to the missiles. High-performance propellants and modified grains enhance the capability of solid propulsion.


By launch mode, the surface-to-surface segment is estimated to account for the largest share (21) of the rockets and missiles market in 2021

Based on launch mode, the rockets and missiles market has been segmented into surface to surface, surface to air, air to air, air to surface, and subsea to surface. Surface to surface rockets and missiles are fired from the ground or the sea. They can be launched from hand-held or vehicle-mounted devices or fixed installations. These missiles used in land warfare operations are designed to hit ground or sea targets. Hence, they are also known as ground to ground rockets and missiles.


The North American market is projected to contribute the largest share from 2021 to 2026

North America is projected to be the largest regional share of rockets and missiles market during the forecast period. Major companies such as Northrop Grumman Corporation, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, and General Dynamics Corporation are based in the US. These players continuously invest in the R&D of new and advanced technology used in the missile defense system.


Some of the companies are Almaz-Antey, Ariane Group, Bae Systems, Bharat Dynamics Limited,
Denel Dynamics, Diehl Defence, Elbit Systems, Frontier Electronic Systems Corp., General Atomics, General Dynamics Corporation, Hanwha Defense, Israel Aerospace Industries, Kbp Instruments Design Bureau, Kongsberg, Lig Nex1 Co. Ltd., Lockheed Martin Corporation, Mbda,
Northrop Grumman Corporation, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., Raytheon Technologies Corporation, Roketsan, Saab Ab, Spetstechnoexport (Ste), Thales, and The Boeing Company


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