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Army Technology - Glossary of military terms
Category: Military and Defence
Date & country: 12/12/2007, UK
Words: 126


Accidental Attack
An accidental attack occurs without deliberate national design as a result of a human error, mechanical fault or because or the actions of a third party.

Active Air Defence
Active air defence is an action taken to eliminate or negate enemy air threats against friendly forces. Active air defence may involve the use of aircraft, electronic warfare, surface to air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery.

Active Homing Guidance
Active homing guidance is a missile guidance system in which the illumination source and the receiver for detecting reflected illumination energy are located within the missile itself. Active homing guidance is the usual guidance system of 'fire and forget' weapons, used by navy, army and air forces.

Acute Radiation Dose
Acute radiation dose results from exposure to a large amount of radiation (over 10 rad) within a short period of time. Depending on the exposure, an acute radiation dose can result in radiation sickness and even death.

Air Defence
Air defence consists of weapons and electronic systems designed to eliminate hostile aircraft and missiles, preventing damage to friendly infantry, armoured vehicles and assets.

Amphibious Vehicle
A amphibious vehicle is capable of traversing bodies of water as well as land. Amphibious vehicles include both wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles, as well as army hovercraft, designed to be able to cross rivers or perform beach landings.

Armoured Fighting Vehicle
An armoured fighting vehicle protects crew and passengers from shrapnel and small arms fire, whilst carrying machine guns, cannon or guided missiles to attack enemy vehicles and infantry. Examples of armoured fighting vehicles include tanks and Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).

Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC)
An armoured personnel carrier is a tracked or wheeled light armoured vehicle, designed to carry infantry and protect them from small arms fire and shrapnel. Usually armed with machine guns, many armoured personnel carriers have a modular design enabling variants to be created for a wide range of missions such as army ambulance, command vehicle, an…

Artillery
Artillery refers to large-caliber weapons, such as mortars, cannons, howitzers, missile and rocket launchers, that are designed to fire indirectly at targets, such as armoured vehicles, infantry and buildings, spotted by other forces.

Attack Helicopter
An attack helicopter is an armoured helicopter with sensors and weapons to seek, attack and destroy enemy targets, including armoured vehicles, installations and infantry.

Backscatter
Backscatter refers to the amount of laser energy scattered back in the direction of the seeker by an obscuring agent.

Barrage Fire
Barrage fire is weapon fire designed to attack an area and destroy targets within it, rather than aimed at a specific target.

Battlefield Illumination
Battlefield illumination illuminates the combat area by artificial visible and non-visible (to the human eye) light. Battlefield illumination examples include flares or infrared vision systems.

Beam Rider
A beam rider missile follows a beam of energy (laser, radar or otherwise) as a means of guidance.

Binary Chemical Munition
Binary chemical munitions contain two chemicals, isolated in separate containers for safety, which react together when combined as a result of being armed or fired, producing a chemical agent.

Biochemical Warfare
Biochemical warfare is the collective term for both chemical warfare and biological warfare weapons.

Biological Agent
A biological agent is a cultivated micro-organism that causes damage to biological material. Biological weapons contain biological agents and are designed to create mass destruction to military and civilian populations.

Biological Ammunition
Biological munitions are designed to release a biological agent, used as the warhead for biological weapons. Biological ammunition can take many forms, such as a missile warhead or bomb.

Biological Defence
Biological defence refers to procedures and technologies employed to prevent and combat the use of biological weapons to attack civilian or military populations.

Biological Warfare
Biological warfare is warfare involving usage of biological weapons.

Biological Weapons
Biological weapons are weapons designed to release a biological agent. Biological weapons can take many forms, such as a missile warhead or bomb.

Blast Effect
Blast effect refers to the damage from the force of an explosive blast.

Blister Agent
A blister agent is a chemical agent that burns and blisters skin, eyes and lungs to varying degrees on contact. Can take the form of a gas or liquid spray. For example, Mustard Gas.

Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU)
A bomb disposal unit consists of a group of specialists trained to detect, identify and safely dispose of explosive devices.

Boresafe Fuse
A boresafe fuse has an interrupter in the explosive train that prevents a projectile from exploding until after it has cleared the muzzle of a weapon.

Burn-Through Range
The burn-through range is the range at which a radar can detect targets through external interference (usually jamming).

Camouflage
Camouflage is the use of colour and materials to prevent an object's detection.

Casualty
A casualty is a member of personnel unable to fulfil their duties within a military organisation due to death or incapacitation by injury or illness.

Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC)
Casualty evacuation is the removal of casualties from the battlefield and transport to medical facilities. Known as CASEVAC, a range of vehicles are used in modern armies to fulfil casualty evacuation, such as the APC and helicopter.

Chemical Agent
Chemical agents are toxic chemicals used to immobilise, incapacitate or kill military or civilian personnel.

Chemical Ammunition
A chemical ammunition delivers a chemical agent. Chemical ammunitions include missiles, rockets, artillery shells and bombs.

Chemical Defence
Chemical Defence involves procedures and technologies employed to prevent and combat chemical attacks.

Chemical Monitoring
Chemical monitoring detects whether a chemical agent is present as the result of a chemical attack.

Chemical Warfare
Chemical warfare is warfare involving the usage of chemical weapons.

Chronic Radiation Dose
A chronic radiation dose is a low dose of radiation received over a long period. A chronic radiation dose is more easily managed by the body than an acute radiation dose but can still result in cancer, sickness and, if untreated, death.

Civil Defence
Civil defence is designed to reduce the effects of a direct attack on the civilian population of a nation and deal with the conditions following an attack.

Cluster Bomb
Cluster bombs are bombs which release miniature bomblets or mines. Mine dispensing cluster bombs are often used for 'area denial', preventing enemy personnel from re-entering the target area. Cluster bombs using bomblets are used to spread damage over a wide area.

Collateral Damage
Collateral damage is the damage and destruction of targets or personnel not considered as lawful military targets. For instance, accidental bombing of civilian population or medical facilities.

Combat Search and Rescue
Combat search and rescue refers to search and rescue operations carried out during war within or near combat zones.

Combat Surveillance
Combat surveillance is surveillance performed over / in the combat area for an operation to provide information on the current situation.

Combat Vehicle
Combat vehicles are armoured or unarmoured vehicles designed to perform roles within combat, such as a main battle tank or infantry fighting vehicles.

Command and Control (C2)
Command and control refers to procedures used in effectively organising and directing armed forces to accomplish a mission. Also known as C2.

Command and Control System
Command and control systems refer to the equipment, facilities and personnel a commander requires to effectively command and control armed forces.

Contact Burst Preclusion
Contact burst preclusion is a fuse system used in air burst shells (such as fragmentation shells) that prevents a surface burst if the air burst fuse fails.

Contamination
Contamination is the absorption of potentially dangerous substances such as biological or chemical agents, possibly as a result of biochemical warfare, or radioactive material, by personnel or objects.

Decontamination
Decontamination procedures eliminate radioactive, poisonous or other harmful substances. In military terms decontamination is often required following chemical or biological warfare attacks, or exposure to radiation caused by a nuclear explosion or devices such as a dirty bomb.

Dirty Bomb
A dirty bomb is an improvised nuclear device, created from radioactive nuclear waste material and conventional explosives. When a dirty bomb is detonated the explosion carries the nuclear waste material into the atmosphere where it is subject to dispersal by wind and rain. The aim of the dirty bomb is to cause wide-spread contamination of the targ…

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)
An electromagnetic pulse is a strong emission of electromagnetic radiation that can be caused by a nuclear explosion. An electromagnetic pulse may cause damaging surges of electrical energy within electronic and electrical equipment and systems. Commonly abbreviated to EMP.

Electronic Warfare
Electronic warfare is the use of the electromagnetic spectrum by devices to attack enemy personnel and equipment. Electromagnetic warfare also refers to defence against these procedures and techniques.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)
Known as EOD, explosive ordnance disposal involves the detection and de-arming of unexploded explosive ordnance, whether this takes the form of old weapons, weapons that failed to detonate upon firing or weapons planted by enemy forces, such as land mines.

First Strike
First strike is the initial attack against an opposing force in a war. Often a surprise attack and associated with nuclear weapons since their development. Fear of a first strike has led to the proliferation of nuclear weapons encouraged by the theory of nuclear deterrence.

Flash Suppressor
A flash suppressor is an attachment for a weapon's muzzle designed to hide the flash from burning gases caused by firing. Usually associated with rifles and other handheld firearms.

Friendly Fire
Friendly fire refers to weapons fire mistakenly fired upon friendly units. The danger of friendly fire is greatly increased when the firing unit is outside of visible range of the target, such as field artillery or air support.

Global Positioning System (GPS)
A global positioning system is a handheld or vehicle mounted system that uses satellite communications to determine the geographical position and other navigational information.

Ground Zero
Ground zero is the central point of a nuclear detonation (or other large blast). Ground zero refers to the point on the ground below or above a detonation.

Guerrilla Warfare
Guerilla warfare uses unconventional modes of warfare, where operations take place in hostile or enemy territory by irregular forces.

Guided Missile
A guided missile is a rocket propelled weapon, consisting of a motor, warhead and guidance system, designed to be flown to a target under control of an onboard computer or remote operator.

Harassing Fire
Harassing fire is weapons fire designed to lower morale of the troops under fire through denial of sleep, noise, and constant danger. Usually sustained or sporadic over a long period of time.

Head-Up Display (HUD)
Head-up display is a display used in aircraft and combat helicopters that projects flight and targeting information onto a screen in the pilots view, allowing them to monitor the aircrafts instruments without having to look at the physical displays in the cockpit.

Heavy Anti-Tank Weapon
A heavy anti-tank weapon is a missile, rocket or gun designed to destroy or disable enemy armoured vehicles.

High-Value Target
A high-value target is a target of high importance in the ability to wage war, and therefore a primary objective of offensive and defensive operations.

Improvised Nuclear Device
An improvised nuclear device is a nuclear weapon, designed to scatter radioactive material, that is made from available materials, and not manufactured normally. An example would be a so-called 'Dirty Bomb'.

Indirect Fire
Indirect fire is weapons fire targeted from beyond line-of-sight distance or from a position where line-of-sight to the target is not possible.

Inertial Guidance
Inertial guidance is a missile guidance system used by a fire-and-forget weapon to determine it's position relative to the earth.

Infrared Photography
Infrared photography utilises infrared imaging technology allowing images to be taken in darkness.

Infrared Radiation
Infrared radiation is emitted in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, used in infrared imaging.

Insurgency
Insurgency is an operation that aims to overthrow an existing regime, often using guerilla tactics.

Killed In Action (KIA)
KIA, short for Killed in Action. KIA / Killed In Action is used to indicate an individual who is killed during a military operation.

Killing Zone
The killing zone is the area in which the enemy is to be lured or forced to occupy so as to concentrate fire upon them, often through ambush.

Laser Guided Weapon
A laser guided weapon is a bomb or missile guided by detecting and following reflected laser energy from the target. The laser energy may originate from a beam either on the laser guided weapon itself or from another source.

Laser Illuminator
A laser illuminator is a device which illuminates a target, group of targets or area with laser radiation, normally to guide laser guided weapons.

Laser Rangefinder
A laser rangefinder is a laser device used to accurately measure the range to a target. Some rangefinders may also be used to guide laser guided weapons.

Logistics
Logistics are the area of military operations dealing with the procurement, distribution, maintenance, and replacement of materiel and personnel.

Man Portable
Man portable refers to a weapon or other item of equipment that can be carried by a single soldier without preventing them from functioning effectively.

Maximum Effective Range
Maximum effective range is the maximum range within which a weapon is effective against its intended target.

Mine
A mine is an explosive weapon which is hidden underground or underwater and triggers when an individual or vehicle moves over it or it is remotely detonated. Mines are often placed in groups, forming a minefield. Due to the use of mines most nations now operate specialist mine disposal teams in their armed forces.

Mine Disposal
Mine disposal is the removal of mines planted either by friendly or enemy forces in order to render a minefield safe. Mine disposal techniques are part of many nations military training programs.

Minefield
A minefield is an area planted with mines by hand, or delivered by mechanical means such as cluster bomb. Minefields are designed to deny enemy forces freedom of movement through the area, or at least slow progress due to the need for mine disposal teams to clear a path through them.

Missile Guidance System
A missile guidance system is fitted either wholly or in part inside a missile to guide the missile to a specified target.

Mobile Defence
Mobile defence is a method of defending a position utilising the mobility of modern battlefield units to repel attacking forces.

Muzzle Velocity
Muzzle velocity is the speed of a projectile as it leaves the muzzle of a weapon. Unless the projectile operates under its own power the muzzle velocity is its highest speed.

Night Vision Goggles (NVG)
Night vision goggles are image intensifying optical devices that use a variety of technologies to provide enhanced vision at night. Night vision goggles are in use in all branches of the military, but especially by pilots and special forces units.

Non-Combatant
A non-combatant is an individual not involved in a military force. The term is usually used in the context of a warzone to identify non-military personnel.

Non-Lethal Weapon
Non-lethal weapons are designed to incapacitate the target rather than to kill or seriously injure. Examples of non-lethal weapons include gas, such as tear gas, and stun grenades.

Nuclear Airburst
A nuclear airburst is a nuclear weapon that is detonated above its target.

Nuclear Deterrence
Nuclear deterrence is the theory that possessing nuclear weapons sufficient to destroy or severely decimate an enemy nation's military and civilian population will deter that enemy from attacking.

Nuclear Radiation
Nuclear radiation is ionizing radiation caused by a nuclear weapon being detonated.

Nuclear Warfare
Nuclear warfare is warfare where one or more sides has used nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Weapon
A nuclear weapon consists of a missile, rocket, bomb or artillery shell armed with a nuclear warhead.

Observation Helicopter
An observation helicopter is a helicopter designed for reconnaissance missions, as well as directing artillery fire and guiding airstrikes.

Operation
An operation is a military mission with a clearly defined objective or objectives.

Ordnance
Ordnance refers to ammunition for weapons as well as explosives and other similar items.

Paradrop
Paradrop refers to troops, weapons and supplies that are dropped by parachute from aircraft.

Paramilitary Forces
A paramilitary force is a military force that has no allegiance to the military of a particular country but is organised and run in the same manner.

Passive Air Defense
Passive air defence is used to combat the danger of enemy airpower without actively attacking aircraft. Examples include the camouflaging of targets to prevent them from being seen and dispersal of forces.

Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is the action of a third party between warring forces, enforcing a cease fire or other truce, usually in support of political moves towards a lasting peace settlement.

Pre-emptive Attack
A pre-emptive attack is an attack carried out in advance of an expected enemy attack.

Precision Bombing
Precision bombing is the use of guided weapons such as bombs and missiles to attack important enemy targets. Precision bombing is also used in an attempt to avoid civilian casualties when attacking targets in urban areas.

Precision Guided Munitions
Precision guided munitions refers to weapons used in precision bombing missions. Precision guided muntions are usually specially designed weapons, or normal bombs fitted with kits to allow them to be guided to their target.

Prisoner of War (POW)
A prisoner of war is a combatant captured by the enemy and interned until the end of the current conflict.