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Ballistic Missiles

Ballistic Missiles:

North Korea recently fired short-range ballistic missiles towards its eastern waters as the United States Secretary of State prepared to open a democracy summit in neighbouring South Korea.

  • A ballistic missile is a rocket-propelled, self-guided strategic-weapons system that follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver a payload from its launch site to a predetermined target.
  • They are powered initially by a rocket or series of rockets in stages, but then follow an unpowered trajectory that arches upwards before descending to reach its intended target.
  • They can carry conventional high explosives as well as chemical, biological, or nuclear munitions.
  • They can be launched from aircraft, ships and submarines, in addition to land-based silos and mobile platforms.
  • There are four general classifications of ballistic missiles:
    • Short-range: less than 1,000 kilometers (approximately 620 miles), also known as “tactical” ballistic missiles.
    • Medium-range: between 1,000 and 3,000 kilometers also known as “theater” ballistic missiles.
    • Intermediate-range: between 3,000 and 5,500 kilometers
    • Long-range: more than 5,500 kilometers, also known as intercontinental or strategic ballistic missiles.