Missile guidance

A guided bomb strikes a practice target

Missile guidance refers to a variety of methods of guiding a missile or a guided bomb to its intended target. The missile's target accuracy is a critical factor for its effectiveness. Guidance systems improve missile accuracy by improving its "Single Shot Kill Probability" (SSKP), which is part of combat survivability calculations associated with the salvo combat model.[1][2]

These guidance technologies can generally be divided up into a number of categories, with the broadest categories being "active," "passive" and "preset" guidance. Missiles and guided bombs generally use similar types of guidance system, the difference between the two being that missiles are powered by an onboard engine, whereas guided bombs rely on the speed and height of the launch aircraft for propulsion.


The concept of missile guidance originated at least as early as World War I, with the idea of remotely guiding an airplane bomb onto a target.

In World War II, guided missiles were first developed, as part of the German V-weapons program.[3] Project Pigeon was American behaviorist B.F. Skinner's attempt to develop a pigeon-guided missile.

The first U.S. ballistic missile with a highly accurate inertial guidance system was the short-range Redstone. [4]