Why missile don’t use pursue tracking?

In the realm of modern weaponry, missiles stand as exemplars of precision and efficiency. The journey towards achieving unparalleled accuracy in striking targets encompasses a multitude of tracking technologies, each designed to optimize performance. Among these techniques lies “pursuit tracking,” a method centered on continuous trajectory adjustments for intercepting moving targets. However, a deeper understanding of the intricacies of missile guidance systems reveals the complexities that temper the widespread utilization of pursuit tracking. This article navigates through the dimensions of pursuit tracking’s intricacy, illuminates the alternative approaches at play, and delves into the synergistic strategies that collectively refine the art of missile tracking.

Enhancing Missile Tracking: Exploring Pursuit Tracking Technology

Missiles, the pinnacle of modern weaponry, are designed with precision and accuracy in mind. To achieve their targets with utmost efficiency, a myriad of tracking technologies are employed. One such tracking method is “pursuit tracking,” which involves continuous adjustments to a missile’s trajectory in order to intercept a moving target. While this technique might seem logical at first glance, it’s worth delving into the intricacies of missile guidance systems to understand why pursuit tracking isn’t the predominant choice.

The Complexity of Pursuit Tracking

Pursuit tracking entails constant real-time adjustments to a missile’s flight path based on the target’s movements. In theory, this method seems foolproof, as it ensures that the missile remains on a collision course with the target. However, implementing this technique is far from straightforward.

1. Computational Burden: Pursuit tracking demands substantial computational power and advanced algorithms. Real-time processing of target data, constant adjustments to missile trajectory, and predicting the target’s future position require significant resources. This can lead to delays in decision-making, reducing the missile’s effectiveness in rapidly changing scenarios.

2. Evolving Trajectories: Targets, especially in military contexts, often employ evasive maneuvers to escape incoming missiles. Pursuit tracking assumes a linear trajectory, making it challenging to predict and respond to sudden changes in direction or speed. This can render the pursuit strategy ineffective against agile targets.

3. Sensing Limitations: Missile guidance systems rely on sensors to gather information about the target’s position and movement. Pursuit tracking is highly dependent on sensor accuracy and resolution. In scenarios where sensor data is compromised – due to factors like weather conditions or electronic countermeasures – pursuit tracking can falter.

4. Energy Efficiency: Missiles have limited fuel or propulsion systems that determine their range and maneuverability. Constantly adjusting the missile’s course consumes more energy, potentially decreasing its overall effective range and limiting its mission objectives.

5. Target Selection: Not all targets warrant pursuit tracking. Slower or less agile targets might be efficiently engaged using other guidance methods, such as predictive tracking or even pre-calculated intercept points.

The Alternatives and Complementary Approaches

To address the limitations of pursuit tracking, missile guidance systems often employ a combination of tracking methods to ensure a higher probability of success. These can include:

1. Proportional Navigation: This guidance method relies on predicting the target’s future position and adjusting the missile’s trajectory proportionally. It simplifies computations and is effective against maneuvering targets.

2. Command Guidance: In this approach, external operators continually adjust the missile’s course based on real-time target data received via communication links.

3. Homing Guidance: Homing guidance methods, like radar homing or infrared homing, focus on tracking specific target characteristics, making them more suitable for certain scenarios.

4. Data Fusion: Combining data from various sensors, like radar, lidar, and infrared, enhances the overall tracking accuracy and reduces vulnerability to sensor limitations.


FAQ 1: What is pursuit tracking in missile guidance?

Answer: Pursuit tracking involves dynamically adjusting a missile’s trajectory to intercept a moving target, aiming for precise collision.

FAQ 2: Why isn’t pursuit tracking the primary choice for missile guidance?

Answer: Pursuit tracking is hindered by computational demands, target maneuverability, sensor limitations, energy efficiency concerns, and varying target scenarios.

FAQ 3: How do missile systems overcome pursuit tracking limitations?

Answer: Missile systems adopt proportional navigation, command guidance, homing methods, and data fusion to enhance tracking accuracy and adapt to diverse operational conditions.


In conclusion, while pursuit tracking might seem like a straightforward solution to hit moving targets, the complexity of implementing real-time adjustments, coupled with the unpredictability of target behavior, has led missile guidance systems to explore more versatile and reliable options. By combining various tracking strategies and optimizing for the specific mission context, modern missiles strive to achieve the highest level of precision and success in a wide array of operational scenarios.

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