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Anti-ship missile

Missile used to attack ships / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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An anti-ship missile (AShM)[citation needed] is a guided missile that is designed for use against ships and large boats. Most anti-ship missiles are of the sea skimming variety, and many use a combination of inertial guidance and active radar homing. A good number of other anti-ship missiles use infrared homing to follow the heat that is emitted by a ship; it is also possible for anti-ship missiles to be guided by radio command all the way.

RGM-84 Harpoon firing from USS Leahy in 1983
Martel guided anti-ship missile
The MBDA Exocet anti-ship missile under a Dassault Rafale
BrahMos, a supersonic cruise missile. compatible of being launched from multiple platforms makes it one of the most feared anti-ship missiles.[citation needed]

The first anti-ship missiles, which were developed and built by Nazi Germany, used radio command guidance.[1] These saw some success in the Mediterranean Theatre during 1943–44, sinking or heavily damaging at least 31 ships with the Henschel Hs 293 and more than seven with the Fritz X, including the Italian battleship Roma and the light cruiser USS Savannah. A variant of the HS 293 had a TV camera/transmitter on board. The bomber carrying it could then fly outside the range of naval anti-aircraft guns and use visual guidance via the bombardier to lead the missile to its target by radio control.[citation needed]

Many anti-ship missiles can be launched from a variety of weapons systems including surface warships (also referred to as ship-to-ship missiles), submarines, bombers, fighter planes, patrol planes, helicopters, shore batteries, land vehicles, and, conceivably, even infantrymen firing shoulder-launched missiles. The term surface-to-surface missile (SSM) is used when appropriate. The longer-range anti-ship missiles are often called anti-ship cruise missiles.