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  • US defence proposals are potential game changers: Tillerson:-The US has offered a number of proposals to India in the defence sector that can be "potential game changers" for the bilateral commercial and military cooperation, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said....
  • Mega Indo-Russia tri-services exercise begins today:-India and Russia will kick start today a 10-day-long mega war game involving their armies, navies and air forces for the first time to further ramp up military ties. The exercise Indra, which is being held in Russia, will primarily focus on achieving coordination between forces of the two countries in a tri-services integrated theatre command scenario....
  • Scientists witness huge cosmic crash, find origins of gold:-The long-ago collision of two neutron stars was a faint signal, but it told of one of the most violent acts in the Universe, and it would soon reveal secrets of the cosmos, including how gold was created....
  • Indigenously-built ASW corvette INS Kiltan commissioned into Navy:-Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has commissioned the indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette INS Kiltan, describing it as a "shining armour" in the country's 'Make in India' programme....

Introduction

Even though missiles are believed to be modern weapon systems, there are innumerable references in epics to weapons that were of similar nature. The Mahabharat and Ramayan contain innumerable references to weapon systems that were similar to today's missiles.

In modern day parlance a powered guided munitions is called a missile. It carries a warhead and is propelled by rockets, or engines using turbofan, ramjet or turbojet technology.

There are primarily two different types of modern missiles: ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. Ballistic missiles are ammunition that follows a ballistic trajectory, while cruise missiles are ammunition that generates lift and has a high of level accuracy. The ballistic missile is an area weapon, while a cruise missile is a target specific weapon.

Besides references in Ramayan and Mahabharat, there are other fables and histories from other parts of the world where weapon systems that are similar to today's missiles find reference. In the first century after the Christ, aeolipile (the ball of Aeolus, the Greek god of wind) was invented by Hero of Alexandria. It was a rocket like engine.

In 12th century AD, there are references from China about rockets. A few centuries later, references about rockets can be also found in the 'Great Art of Artillery' by Kazimierz Siemienowicz published in the Netherlands.

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