Rockets and Guided Missiles
A rocket is an unguided missile propelled by a discharging jet of propellant gas. A military rocket
consists essentially of a warhead, a fuze, and a motor. The rocket is stabilized in flight by fins, or
canted nozzles, that are attached to the motor. See Figure 5. The unguided or free rocket is fired from
a launcher along a predetermined trajectory. Rockets are basically classified as shoulder-fired, ground-
to-ground, or aircraft (air-to-air or air-to-ground). Rockets may have HE (fragmentation), HEAT, smoke,
flechette (nails), and practice warheads. The rocket used with the MLRS is a good example of a large
Figure 5. Typical 2.75-inch aircraft rocket in flight.
Guided missiles are rockets with a guidance system. They range in size from the small AT missile to
the large artillery and air defense guided missile systems. See Figure 6. The warheads used with
guided missiles may be HE, HEAT, HE fragmentation, and chemical.
Bombs are normally under the control of the Air Force. However, as an ammunition officer, you should
have a basic understanding of how bombs are constructed and how they are stored. Bombs come in
all sizes and types depending on how they are to be used. They are classified as to use as follows:
General purpose (GP).
Light case (LC).
Incendiary or fire.
Cluster and clustered bomb units (CBUs).
Bombs range in size from the small bomb live units (BLUs) to the large 250-pound to 3,000-pound GP
bombs. Normally, small bombs and BLUs have one fuze. The larger bombs have a nose fuze and a