posted on May, 20 2005 @ 01:26 PM
In semi-active radar homing, an radar transmitter from the launch vehicle illuminates the target with RF energy. The homer in the weapon detects the
reflected RF energy eminating from the target, and homes in.
In active radar homing, both the radar transmitter and passive homer are located in the nose of the weapon.
In semi-active homing, the firing platform usually must keep the target "illuminated" until the weapon has impacted. In active homing, this job is
done by the weapon itself, thus allowing the firing platform to maneuver away from the area, or engage other targets. Active radar homing missiles,
such as the AMRAAM, are often called "fire and forget".
There are a few systems that use both technologies, or combinations of modes. The AIM-54 is fired towards the target blindly, and proceeds to the
target area using strap-down inertial guidance with mid-course correction. Only when it is in the target area does its terminal seeker activate, and
then it can guide itself to the target, thus freeing up the F-14 for other duties.
[edit on 20-5-2005 by Pyros]