h a l f b a k e r y
I think this would be a great thing to not do.
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Not just for ballistic missiles but you would
want a large missile body behind most versions of
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
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
active upon a signal or when it were no longer
contained properly. It would provide too many
for active defenses to cope.
This is not baked by MIRV because 1: it has nothing
do with re-entry and 2: the internal missiles would
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
Pretty much the embodiment of your description, in service since 1997. [Custardguts, May 18 2014]
||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 ?
||//might be one, if not the, smallest guided
munition in service ?//
||Mais non. The Épée comes in at under 500 grams.
||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.
||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.