/merrv/, n.Also, M.I.R.V.
* * *in full multiple independently targeted reentry vehicleAny of several nuclear warheads carried on the front end of a ballistic missile.The technique allows separately targeted nuclear warheads to be released from the missile on different trajectories, thus attacking several targets from only one launcher. MIRVed ballistic missiles were first deployed by the U.S. and then the Soviet Union in the 1970s, followed by Britain and France in the 1980s and possibly China in the 1990s. Because multiple warheads represent a significant increase in firepower, they have often been an issue in arms control negotations. The Strategic Arms Reduction Talks commit both the U.S. and Russia to limit the number of MIRVs on some missiles.
* * *▪ weaponryabbreviation of Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicle,any of several nuclear warheads carried on the front end, or “bus,” of a ballistic missile. Each MIRV allows separately targeted nuclear warheads to be sent on their independent ways after the main propulsion stages of the missile launch have shut down. The warheads can be released from the bus at different speeds and on different trajectories. MIRV technology was first developed by the United States. By the late 20th century both the United States and the Soviet Union had many intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles equipped with MIRVs.
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