A Parametric Study of the Performance of Air-Launched Ballistic Missiles

by Giles K. Smith

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An attempt to estimate the effect of three launch variables (namely, velocity, path angle, and altitude) on the performance of air-launched ballistic missiles. One- and two-stage missiles are considered for 200- to 1500-n-mi ranges at launch conditions varying from Mach 0.4 to 3.0 and from sea level to 60, 000 ft. The results are presented in a series of curves for the convenience of the user. Although most of the calculations are based on a representative missile configuration flown on a maximum-range trajectory with a horizontal launch path, the data can readily be extrapolated to other missile trajectories.

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