Missiles are ship weapons that can inflict heavy damage on a target's shields, hull or structure. Missiles have a heavily loaded warhead, a propulsion system and (mostly) a seeking system.
The following are types of missiles used during and around the Terran-Kilrathi War.
- LAU-81 "Dart" DF (Dumbfire)
- AIM-15 "Javelin" HS (Heat-Seeker)
- AIM-42 "Spiculum" IR (Image Recognition)
- AIM-31 "Pilum" FF (Friend-or-Foe)
- Imaging/Friend or Foe: in 2667, just prior to the Battle of Earth, the Kilrathi came up with a nasty invention: essentially the combination of FF and IR technology. The resulting missile, dubbed IFF, is fire-and-forget, but cannot be fooled by deactivation of the IFF beacon. Fortunately, James "Paladin" Taggart was able to provide an effective countermeasure by reprogramming standard ECM decoys to transmit the radar signatures of a small capital ship. What became of these new missiles after the Battle of Earth is unknown.
- Mine: the MP-51 "Porcupine" mine does exactly what you'd expect it to. It can be carried and dropped by most fighter craft, and will lie dormant until it can creep up on an enemy ship and detonate. Depending on the era, they may or may not show up on radar.
- Leech: the ADM-74 "Leech" missile creates a temporary electronic overload in the target, shutting it down cold. It works on capital ships, but they tend to recover after only a few moments; fighters, on the other hand, are incapacitated more-or-less permanently.
- Dragonfly: "Dragonfly" Rocket Pods are essentially miniature Dumbfire missiles. These unguided munitions can be fired rapidly, have a very short fuel duration (3 seconds) and do not do very much damage; however, they are quite a bit faster than dumbfires, not to mention quite a bit more prolific (the average fighter carries 32 of them), and a pilot with a sharp eye can employ them effectively in just about any situation.
- K-Gun: "Kick Guns" are long, non-functional guns that attach to the legs and provide extra support when the user tries to kick someone.
- Mosquito: "Mosquito" Enhanced Rocket Pods are modified Dragonflies that carry FF homing technology. However, the seeker heads seem to have suffered during their miniaturization, as Mosquitos are not particularly accurate; and if one misses on its first pass it will not make another pass, as if realizing (quite rightly) that it doesn't have enough fuel to come around again. While a wonderful idea on paper, the Mosquito is far less practical in the field.
- Swarmer Pod: Swarmer pods are not single munitions, but rather a large launcher that expels eight missiles at once. Fielded solely by the Wasp dedicated interceptor, these missiles have a significant locking time and require constant radar guidance via a laser designator on the Wasp's nose--in other words, any pilot attempting to employ a Swarmer pod must remain on the target's tail until all missiles impact. The results when all of them do, however, are often worth the trouble, and the direct laser lock renders these missiles ECM-proof as well.
- Tracker MIRV: an unguided rocket that, after several seconds of travel, breaks into four separate FF rounds. Despite the propensity of these missiles to lock onto the same target, their ability to quickly attack--or at least instill severe panic in--enemy targets is rivaled only by the Wasp's Swarmers. The unguided rocket does not cause damage if it impacts with a target prematurely, a disappointment to many pilots.
- Torpedo: the premiere anti-capital ship weapon. Somewhere between 2655 and 2665, Phase-Shielding technology made the necessary leaps and became, essentially, totally impervious to fighter-based beam weaponry (in 2669 fighter-based weapons regained the upper hand, only to lose it again by 2673). Previously, all capital ships could be destroyed solely by 'small arms' fire, but after the revolution, a dedicated weapon, the torpedo, was needed. Torpedoes are able, by technological secrets that are still classified, to bypass Phase Shielding entirely, detonating directly on the capital ship's hull. Unfortunately, this electromagnetic sleight-of-hand requires 20 seconds of locking time, during which the launching fighter must fly straight towards the targeted capital ship, unable to make evasive maneuvers and vulnerable to whatever ship-based weapons can be pointed at it--not to mention any remaining fighter cover. Fortunately, the results are worth the effort... And hopefully worth the inevitable casualties.