- Internal Combustion
- Mobile SAM
Although it leads to many other Advances, the first application of rocketry is to build Mobile SAMs which provide Anti-Air Active Defense.
Rockets are as old as gunpowder. By 970 AD, several hundred years before it was used in guns or cannon, sophisticated gunpowder rockets were already in use in China for fireworks, signaling, and scaring enemy horses. William Congreve, a British Army officer, designed the "Congreve Rocket", batteries of which were used by the British Army in the Napoleonic Wars (1805 to 1815). These weapons were so erratic and inaccurate that, like the earlier Chinese weapons, they were only considered useful "-to set fire to any town", or to shatter enemy morale. Modern rocketry really dates from the experiments by Robert Goddard in the United States, starting in 1917. He launched the first liquid-fueled rocket in 1926, pioneering the basic design that will eventually take men into orbit and to the moon. The first modern rocket weapons, however, are much more practical: they are solid-fueled barrage weapons, the German Nebelwurfer ("Smoke Thrower") and the Soviet Russian BM-8 and BM-13 "Katyushas". The advantage of these weapons is that they can deliver tons of high explosive or incendiary projectiles onto a target in a few seconds by firing 6 to 24 rockets from each set of launchers. By the end of World War Two, virtually all armies have similar weapons either in service or under development. Rocket motors were also used as the propulsion of choice for light antitank weapons, since, being self-propelled, the ammunition does not require heavy mounts and can be hand-carried by one man. The first such weapon was the German Panzerfaust, but probably the most famous was the American ’Bazooka’ rocket launcher of 1942.
By the end of World War Two the Germans were also experimenting with antiaircraft guided rockets. As post-war jet aircraft began flying faster and higher, rocket weapons that could reach virtually any altitude became paramount. The American Nike (Greek for ’Victory’) series of antiaircraft missiles and the Soviet SA-1 to 3 series were the first mass-produced and extensively used Radar-guided antiaircraft missile weapons, while the American HAWK (’Homing All the Way Killer’) and Soviet SA-6 were the first antiaircraft missiles mounted on mobile launchers that could carry and fire their missiles almost anywhere they were needed.