What Is a Ballistic Missile?


Quick Answer

A ballistic missile is a warhead that follows a specific flight path to hit a designated area, which is usually an enemy aircraft, tank or warship. This technology was first developed by the Third Reich regime in Nazi Germany for use during World War II.

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Full Answer

The V-2 rocket was the first ballistic missile developed in Germany in 1944. Models by other countries soon followed, including the SM-65 Atlas in the United States in 1958 and R-7 Semyorka in the Soviet Union in 1959. These missiles played a role in the arms race during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

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