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Science | Military | Explosives

Get the science behind the inner workings of bombs, missiles and handheld weapons, including grenades. Learn how they work and how they are used to inflict maximum damage.

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How Smart Bombs Work

Smart bombs can navigate their own way to specific ground targets with startling accuracy, even in poor weather conditions. Find out how JDAMs and other smart bombs automatically find and hit their targets.


How do liquid explosives work, and what would terrorists do with them on a plane?

 How do liquid explosives work, and what would terrorists do with them on a plane?

On August 10, 2006, authorities in Great Britain announced that they had arrested several people in connection with a plot to attack airplanes with liquid explosives. See more »

How Bombs Work

 How Bombs Work

Bombs come in many different shapes and sizes, from small like a grenade to huge like a thermonuclear warhead. Check out what the inside of a bomb looks like. See more »

How Missiles Work

 How Missiles Work

Learn about all types of missiles, including cruise missiles, stinger missiles, patriot missiles and even missile defense systems. See more »

How Rocket-Propelled Grenades Work

 How Rocket-Propelled Grenades Work

Rugged and simple, suitable for downing helicopters, disabling tanks or attacking buildings at close range -- in the hands of a skilled operator, the RPG is a lethal and versatile weapon. Find out all about RPGs. See more »

How Bunker Busters Work

 How Bunker Busters Work

Bunker busters penetrate deep into fortified bunkers or underground compounds before exploding. Learn about bunker busters and how they’re used in combat. See more »

How Patriot Missiles Work

 How Patriot Missiles Work

Patriot missiles are designed to detect, target and then hit an incoming missile. Learn about Patriot missiles and the patriot missile launch system. See more »

How E-Bombs Work

 How E-Bombs Work

The U.S. could have a new high-tech electromagnetic weapon in its arsenal, and terrorists might be building their own low-tech versions. Find out how these weapons could tear apart modern technology. See more »

How Smart Bombs Work

 How Smart Bombs Work

Smart bombs use sensors and flight systems to find a specific target. Learn how smart bombs work and about smar-bomb technology such as the JDAM. See more »

How MOAB Works

 How MOAB Works

When the U.S. Air Force tested the MOAB last year, it tested one of the largest conventional bombs ever built. MOAB stands for Massive Ordnance Air Burst, and it's not for the faint-hearted. Find out how it fits into the U.S. arsenal. See more »

How Sidewinder Missiles Work

 How Sidewinder Missiles Work

A Sidewinder missile weaves through the air toward an enemy target as if it has a mind of its own -- and in a way, it does. High-tech "smart weapons" take most of the guess work out of hitting a target. Find out how Sidewinders seek and destroy. See more »