Multiple reentry vehicle
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
A Multiple Reentry vehicle payload for a ballistic missile deploys multiple warheads in a pattern against a single target. (As opposed to Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle, which deploys multiple warheads against multiple targets.) The advantage of an MRV over a single warhead is that the damage produced in the center of the pattern is far greater than the damage possible from any single warhead in the MRV cluster, this makes for an efficient area attack weapon. Also, the sheer number of Warheads make interception by Anti-ballistic missiles unlikely.
Improved warhead designs allow smaller warheads for a given yield, while better electronics and guidance systems allowed greater accuracy. As a result MIRV technology has proven more attractive than MRV for advanced nations. Because of the larger amount of nuclear material consumed by MRVs and MIRVs, single warhead missiles are more attractive for nations with less advanced technology. The United States deployed an MRV payload on the Polaris A-3. The Soviet Union deployed MRVs on the SS-9 Mod 4 ICBM. Refer to atmospheric reentry for more details.