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Any integrated system for the control and operation of a specific type of weaponry. Weapons are usually divided into two categories, strategic and tactical. Strategic weapons strike at the seat of an enemy's military, economic, and political power, targeting cities, factories, military bases, transportation and communications networks, and seats of government. Most nuclear weapons are part of strategic weapons systems. Tactical weapons are designed instead for offensive or defensive use at relatively short rangefor example, guided missiles intended as antiaircraft and antitank weapons, or other weapons used in aerial and naval combat.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on weapons system, visit Britannica.com.
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