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I think this would be a great thing to not do.

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Active defense resistant cluster missile

launch on primary vehicle damage
  [vote for,

Not just for ballistic missiles but you would definitely want a large missile body behind most versions of this weapon.

This missile would consist of a container for self- guided munitions. If damaged or when close enough to the target the warhead would break up and each individual missile would attack on its own. The Anti- Air/ Anti-Light-Vehicle version could use RPG's. The Anti-Ship version would use fewer, heavier missiles.

If struck by missile, shell, or laser the carrier missile would simply break up. Each internal missile would go active upon a signal or when it were no longer contained properly. It would provide too many targets for active defenses to cope.

This is not baked by MIRV because 1: it has nothing to do with re-entry and 2: the internal missiles would be capable of finding targets at any point of breakup. This is not baked by cluster munitions because the whole attack mechanism is different.

Up next: Active defense resistant cluster missile cluster missile

Voice, May 16 2014

Starstreak missile http://en.wikipedia.../Starstreak_missile
Pretty much the embodiment of your description, in service since 1997. [Custardguts, May 18 2014]


       See [linky].   

       Starstreak goes one better and disperses its submunitions before being hit. The original intent was to increase hit probability on airborne targets, by firing a cluster of anti-air projectiles (if 3 is a cluster...). Turns out a ~1kg dart with ~.5kg HE in it, equipped with an impact delayed fuse, travelling at 1250m/s does a reasonable job of zapping any land vehicle other than a main battle tank.   

       As a side note, I do believe that each submunition, being only 900g, and being laser guided, might be one, if not the, smallest guided munition in service ?
Custardguts, May 18 2014

       //might be one, if not the, smallest guided munition in service ?//   

       Mais non. The Épée comes in at under 500 grams.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 18 2014


       Not familiar with that? Unless you mean the foil, in which case, nice one, but not "guided" in the sense that I mean "guided" - ie semi-active.
Custardguts, May 18 2014

MaxwellBuchanan, May 18 2014

       Meh. The starstreak always struck me as a horribly inneficient design, something that sounds like something out of science fiction, but with little real-world utility. Certainly from a [mass/expense of infrastructure] : [munition delivered to target] ratio, it seems rediculously poor. That said, it's apparently got a great hit ratio, and is startlingly effective.   

       I think the poster is asking a lot from the self-guidance mechanisms to expect these submunitions to survive breakup of the missile proper, regain aerodynamic stability, re-aquire target, and maneuver thereto. This would be a near miraculous feat. As silly as it seems, I'd wager the starstreak approach of dispersing submunitions early is probably far more practical.   

       Then again, you could somehow convince the military-industrial complex to subvert it's own purpose, and design far more economical missiles, and then just shoot 3 or 4 for the price of 1 now. In terms of materials costs, required complexity VS crazy overcomplication, etc, it should be entirely possible to develop missiles that cost 10% as much as current ones, but perform at 90% capability.
Custardguts, May 18 2014


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