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A surface-to-surface missile (SSM) or ground-to-ground missile (GGM)[1] is a missile designed to be launched from the ground or the sea and strike targets on land or at sea. They may be fired from hand-held or vehicle mounted devices, from fixed installations, or from a ship. They are often powered by a rocket engine or sometimes fired by an explosive charge, since the launching platform is typically stationary or moving slowly. They usually have fins and/or wings for lift and stability, although hyper-velocity or short-ranged missiles may use body lift or fly a ballistic trajectory. The V-1 flying bomb was the first operational surface-to-surface missile.

Contemporary surface-to-surface missiles are usually guided. An unguided surface-to-surface missile is usually referred to as a rocket (for example, an RPG-7 or M72 LAW is an anti-tank rocket whereas a BGM-71 TOW or AT-2 Swatter is an anti-tank guided missile).

Examples of surface-to-surface missile include the MGM-140 ATACMS, the Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB)[2][3][4] and the Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF).[5][6][7]



Surface-to-surface missiles are usually divided into a number of categories:

Different parties break down missile type by the range differently. For example, the United States Department of Defense has no definition for LRBM, and thus defines an ICBM as those missiles with ranges greater than 5,500 km (3500 mi). The International Institute for Strategic Studies also does not define a range for LRBMs, and defines SRBMs as having somewhat shorter ranges than the definition used by the Department of Defense.


  1. ^ "The world's top air-to-surface missiles". November 2019.
  2. ^ Mehta, Aaron (10 March 2015). "Boeing, Saab Unveil Ground Launched SDB". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB)". Archived from the original on 2017-03-27. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  4. ^ "Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB)". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  5. ^ Osborn, Kris (6 September 2016). "US Army's New Ground-Launched Missile: Raining Down Death from 500 Kilometers Away". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  6. ^ Raytheon to offer new missile design for US Army's Long-Range Precision Fires requirement -, 17 March 2016
  7. ^ Raytheon to help Army develop new long-range artillery rocket for battlefield fire-support -, 16 March 2016
  8. ^ "Roketsan - KARA ATMACA Surface-To-Surface Cruise Missile".
  9. ^ "The Army Plans to Fire Its Version of the Navy's SM-6 Missile from This Launcher". 13 October 2021.