is an explosive device used in military conflicts, used to destroy enemy vehicles or buildings.
Typically, a warhead is delivered by a missile, rocket, or torpedo. It consists of the explosive material, and a detonator.
The types of warhead are:
- Explosive - An explosive charge is used to disintegrate the target, and damage surrounding areas with a shockwave.
- Chemical - A toxic chemical, such as nerve gas is dispersed, which is designed to injure or kill human beings.
- Biological - An infectious agent, such as Anthrax is dispersed, which is designed to sicken and kill humans.
The types of explosive are:
- Chemical - Chemicals such as gunpowder store significant energy within their molecular bonds. This energy can be released quickly by a trigger, such as an electric spark. Thermobaric weapons are something of a special case.
- Nuclear - See Nuclear weapon.
Often, a biological or chemical warhead will use an explosive charge for rapid dispersal.
The types of detonators are:
- Contact - When the warhead makes physical contact with the target, the explosive is detonated.
- Proximity - Using radio waves, sound waves, a magnetic sensor, or Radar, the warhead is detonated when the target is within a specified distance.
See also: guidance system