Warfare has come a long way since men fought facing each other in single file and shooting their one shot muskets. Today you can target a small hut in Afghanistan with a drone while sitting in USA. One major leap in warfare came with the use of missiles to attack targets far away. Missile technology has evolved rapidly and today the world has some very deadly missiles that could bring about an Armageddon in a matter of hours. Let’s look at the top 10 deadliest missiles.
The PGM-17 Thor was the first ballistic missile that became operational in the late 1950’s. The U.S. Air Force used it as an intermediate range ballistic missile deployed in the United Kingdom. It was an impressive missile with a height of 20 meters and a diameter of 2.4 meters. It helped in the development of the delta rockets that were used as space launch vehicles.
The V-2 rocket was the precursor to all of today’s missile and rocket technology. It was the first man made object to enter outer space. It was developed in the Nazi regime during the end of World War II and was used mainly to bomb London and Antwerp. More than 3000 V-2s were launched which killed about 9000 civilians and soldiers while 12000 forced laborers died in concentration camps while making these missiles.
Tomahawk is a medium to long range missile used by the U.S. Navy. It is a subsonic missile that can be launched from both ships and submarines. It was introduced in 1970’s and still continues to be in operation in many forms. It is powered by a jet engine and has the capability to target a variety of surface targets.
BrahMos is a joint venture between India and Russia and the name is derived from two rivers, Brahmaputra and Moskva, in India and Russia respectively. It is a supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft and land. It can travel at the speed of Mach 3 and is the world’s fastest cruise missile. It can carry a payload of up to 200 kg and has a range of about 290 km. It can fly as low as 10 meters off the ground.
The Israeli weapon systems are highly secretive and all that is known about them is through speculation and whatever little data is available to the public. Jericho is a codename given to its ballistic missile program. The Jericho lll is the latest of its long range missile and is an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. It can carry a payload of about 1000 kg and can carry conventional nuclear or unconventional payloads. Its range has been speculated to be anywhere from 2000 km to 11,500 km.
The M51 is a French SLBM or submarine-launched ballistic missile. It was designed by EADS Astrium Space Transportation and is used by the French Navy. It has the capacity to carry from 8 to 10 thermonuclear warheads and can be launched by a fully submerged submarine. It has a good range and can act as a first strike nuclear deterrent strategic weapon.
Like Israel, China’s defense systems are also secretive but there is a bit known about the Dongfeng-41 or DF-41. It is nuclear solid fueled road mobile Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. It is probably the world’s longest ranged missile with range of up to 14,000 km and the capability to hit anywhere in the world. It can carry multiple payloads and has a top speed of Mach 25.
The R-36 is a series of Russian ICBMs and space launch vehicles. It was designed during the Cold War and gave Russia the first strike advantage over the U.S. The R-36 can carry a lot of weight and can carry more than 10 different warheads and 40 penetration aids. The quality by which one single missile can target multiple locations, is enough to catapult it in the list of deadliest missiles around.
The LGM-30 Minuteman is an American ICBM with a range of 13,000 km. It can carry up to 3 different nuclear warheads that can target separate locations. It is a guided missile and forms the part of the U.S. nuclear triad along with the Trident missile systems and the stealth bombers. It is the only land based intercontinental ballistic missile in the U.S. right now.