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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
surface-to-air missile
▪ Previous errors have included a sheep dip targeted after it was mistaken for a surface-to-air missile launch site.
▪ The new SA-10 surface-to-air missile, being installed across the Soviet Union, can also shoot down cruise missiles.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
surface-to-air missile

Missile \Mis"sile\, n. [L. missile.]

  1. A weapon thrown or projected or intended to be projected, as a lance, an arrow, or a bullet.

  2. A rocket-propelled device designed to fly through the air and deliver a warhead of explosive materials to a target.

    Note: Numerous types of rocket-propelled missile[2] are now used in modern warfare. Some types with names indicating their range or function are: antiaircraft missile; ballistic missile; cruise missile; antiballistic missile missile; air-to-air missile; air-to-ground missile; guided missile; intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM); intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM); surface-to-air missile.

surface-to-air missile

n. (context military English) A ground-based anti-aircraft missile.

surface-to-air missile

n. a guided missile fired from land or shipboard against an airborne target [syn: SAM]

Surface-to-air missile

A surface-to-air missile (SAM), or ground-to-air missile (GTAM), is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles. It is one type of antiaircraft system; in modern armed forces, missiles have replaced most other forms of dedicated antiaircraft weapons, with anti-aircraft guns pushed into specialized roles.

The first serious attempts at SAM development took place during World War II, although no operational systems were introduced. Further development in the 1940s and 1950s led to the first operational systems being introduced by most major forces during the second half of the 1950s. Smaller systems, suitable for close-range work, evolved though the 1960s and 1970s, to modern systems that are man-portable. Shipborne systems followed the evolution of land-based models, starting with long-range weapons and steadily evolving toward smaller designs to provide a layered defence that have pushed gun-based systems into the shortest-range roles.

The American Nike Ajax was the first operational guided missile SAM system, and the Soviet Union's S-75 Dvina was the most-produced SAM. Widely used modern examples include the Patriot and S-300 wide-area systems, SM-6 naval missiles, and short-range man-portable systems like the Stinger and Strela-3.

Usage examples of "surface-to-air missile".

The radar was attached to a Crotale 2000 surface-to-air missile system, a relatively short-range mobile SAM intended primarily for point defense of airfields and other strategic targets.

It entailed a superb phased-array radar called the SPY and a fair-to-middlin' surface-to-air missile originally called the Standard Missile, because, Gregory imagined, it was the only one the Navy had.

They consist of about 15,000 personnel with 500 surface-to-air missile (SAM) launchers.

It had been shot down by some form of surface-to-air missile (SAM).

There was one only left - the four surface-to-air missile launchers of the advanced SA-N-3 type.

But a split second before he could press his fire switch, a surface-to-air missile fired from the LNG tanker blasted his F-16 into a giant fiery pyre that burst like a fireworks rocket.

Next, I want every surface-to-air missile and antiair gun battery you can find.

Here he was, on high ground, within sight of a surface-to-air missile battery that was sure to draw fire.