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Newsgroups: sci.military.moderated
From: (Andrew Higgins)
Subject: Re: Impact Velocity of Ballistic Missile
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 16:33:16 GMT

In article <>, "Tom Griest"
<> wrote:

> I got into a discussion with someone who said that
> the 1000 pound HE warhead on the V2 rocket didn't do as
> much damage as the kinetic energy released at impact.
> This seems incorrect to me, even though I recall concerns
> during the Gulf War about disabled SCUDs falling to earth
> and doing some damage.
> Anyhow, I looked up some info on the V2 and one account
> indicated that they reached an apogee of around 55 miles.
> However I have no info on their aerodynamics and terminal
> weight.  Does anyone know what their impact velocity was
> and how much the rocket weighed empty?

A good rule of thumb to remember is that a projectile traveling at 3 km/s
has a kinetic energy about equal to its weight in high explosives.

Since the terminal velocity of the V-2 was no where near 3 km/s, the
kinetic energy of its impact would not be nearly as great as the yield of
its HE warhead.
     Andrew J. Higgins            Department of Mechanical Eng.
     Shock Wave Physics Group     McGill University    Montreal, Quebec

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