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Intermediate-range ballistic missile: Wikis


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IRBM and MRBM missiles.

An intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) is a ballistic missile with a range of 3,000-5,500 km (1,865-3,420 miles), between a medium-range ballistic missile and an intercontinental ballistic missile. Classifying ballistic missiles by range is done mostly for convenience, in principle there is very little difference between a low-performance ICBM and a high-performance IRBM. The range definition used here is used within the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. Some other sources include an additional category, the long-range ballistic missile (LRBM), to describe missiles with a range between IRBMs and true ICBMs. The more modern term theater ballistic missile encompasses IRBMs, MRBMs and SRBMs, including any ballistic missile with a range under 3,500 km (2,175 mi).

IRBMs are currently operated by the People's Republic of China, India and Israel. Some other countries, such as Pakistan, Iran and North Korea, are said to be developing them. The United States, the USSR, the United Kingdom and France are former operators.


Operational IRBMs

Under Development

Retired IRBMs


The progenitor for the IRBM was the A4b rocket winged for increased range and based on the famous V-2 (Vergeltung, or "Reprisal", officially called A4) rocket designed by Wernher von Braun widely used by Nazi Germany at the end of World War II to bomb English and Belgian cities. Also as the first IRBM may be considered separate second stage A9 of ballistic missile A9/A10 rocket. A4b and A9 rockets were tested few times in December 1944 and January and February 1945. All of these rockets used liquid propellant. A4b used an inertial guidance system, A9 controlled by pilot. They started from a non-mobile launch pad. Following WWII von Braun and other lead Nazi scientists were secretly transferred to the United States to work directly for the U.S. Army through Operation Paperclip developing the V-2 into the weapon for the United States.

See also




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