Control systems for missiles


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4 June 2006
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What are the advantages and disadvantages for the various control systems for missiles - planar control fins, lattice grid fins, piff-paff, any others?
I believe the advantage with lattice grid fins is that their actuators can be smaller than a conventional control fin yet still exert the same control forces but over smaller deflection angles.
Yes - the primary reason for R-77 to have lattice fins was that the USSR hadn't developed sufficiently lightweight yet powerful actuators as needed for the high level of manouverability combined with low launch weight. Planned modernised R-77 missiles will ditch the lattice fins because they are more draggy than a traditional fin, and Russia now has sufficiently light yet powerful actuators for the job.
Found this
Interesting that the real advantage of lattice grid fins will probably end up being for packaging efficiency (as pointed out in the latter half of the page that PMN1 linked to)- I had always been under the impression that the grid fins were better as they allowed smaller actuators, but the points of drag and increased RCS I'd never thought about. But in a short-range weapon or a bomb, they certainly do sound compelling- particularly with LO aircraft having to carry weapons internally, then packaging efficiency is paramount.

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