cruise missile noun
: a large military weapon that flies close to the ground and is directed to a specific place to explode
: a guided missile that has a terrain-following radar system and that flies at moderate speed and low altitude
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cruise missile noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Type of low-flying strategic guided missile developed by the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and '70s. The V-1 missile was a precursor. Powered by jet engines, cruise missiles may carry either a nuclear or a conventional warhead. They are designed to hug the ground, which makes them hard to detect by radar. They are launched from ships, submarines, airplanes, and the ground.
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