Ballistic Missile Classifications

(Created October 2009)
(Updated July 2016)

Notes: According to the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 km are banned. However, many nations do not follow the INF treaty.

Notes On Performance Figures: They were calculated using rules of thumb, which are for missiles lofted on minimum-energy; maximum-range trajectories.

Class

Range (km)

Apogee (km)

Time of Flight (sec)

Delta-V

Battlefield/Tactical Ballistic Missiles

1 to 149 km

0.25 to 37 km

14 to 171 sec

0.09 to 1.1 km/sec

Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBMs)

150 to 799 km

38 to 200 km

171 to 396 sec

1.1 to 2.54 km/sec

Medium-Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBMs)

800 to 2,399 km

200 to 600 km

396 to 686 sec

2.55 to 4.41 km/sec

Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs)

2,400 to 5,499 km

600 to 1,375 km

686 to 1,038 sec

4.41 to 6.67 km/sec

Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)

5,500 to 19,970 km

1,375 to 4,993 km

1,038 to 1,978 sec

6.67 to 12.72 km/sec