Aircraft Ammunition

aircraft ammunition

[′er‚kraft am·yə′nish·ən]
Ammunition designed to be shot, launched, or dropped from aircraft.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Aircraft Ammunition


including aerial bombs, disposable bomb cassettes, bomb bundles, cartridges for aircraft machine guns and cannon, various aircraft missiles, aerial mines, torpedoes, grenades, aircraft photographic cartridges, pyrotechnic signal cartridges, and other cartridges.

Disposable bomb cassettes are thin-walled aerial bombs equipped with aerial antitank and other mines or small fragmentation, antitank, incendiary, and other bombs from 1 to 10 kg in mass. A single cassette may contain 100 or more bombs (or mines) which are released in the air.

Bomb bundles are devices in which several aerial bombs, each 25 to 100 kg in mass, are connected by special fixtures to a single suspension. The bombs are disengaged at the instant they are ejected from the plane or while they are in the air.

Cartridges for aircraft machine guns and cannon are distinguished by the type of bullets and shells, which may be either single action (fragmentation, high explosive, armor-piercing, incendiary, tracer), double action (high explosive fragmentation), or triple action (incendiary high explosive fragmentation and others). The most common calibers for aircraft bullets are 7.62 and 12.7 mm; for aircraft shells, 20, 23, 30, and 37 mm. The mass of aircraft shells ranges from 100 to 800 g.

Aircraft unguided missiles are shells consisting of a warhead (high explosive, high explosive fragmentation, shaped-charge, nuclear), a jet engine (powder or liquid fuel), and a fuse (impact or proximity type). The mass of such a missile ranges from several kilograms to hundreds of kilograms.

Aircraft guided missiles are unmanned flying vehicles with a jet engine. They are equipped with a conventional or nuclear warhead and a control system designed to automatically home the missile in on the target or to follow a specified trajectory. The mass of air-to-ground missiles ranges from hundreds to several thousands of kilograms; the flight range is from 10 to 1,000 or more kilometers. Air-to-air missiles have masses of 50 to 200 kilograms and a flight range from launch point of as much as several dozens of kilometers.

Aerial mines (antitank, antipersonnel, naval, etc.) are devices consisting of a warhead, fuse, and additional adaptations; they are used to set up minefields from the air, on land, or on sea.


Latukhin, A. N. Boevye upravliaemye rakety. Moscow, 1968.
Organizatsiia i vooruzhenie armii i flotov kapitalisticheskikh gosudarstv, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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