MIRV’d

When I saw Dave Cenciotti’s post on this clip of Russian ICBM reentry vehicles impacting the Kura Range, I was planning on sharing a wealth of information on the engineering of a warhead bus in deploying warheads to independent targets, as well as decoys and other penetration aids.

But life got in the way, so all you get is the clip, and just a bit of commentary.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WagAKBuc_o&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

ICBM warheads reach a top velocity of around Mach 25, but they also decelerate as they return from space. The earliest US reentry vehicle, the Mk4, used a blunt body for best heat disipation and to fit the relatively large physics package. That blunt shape meant the Mk4 was actually subsonic by the time it reached the surface.