Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has been met with a stout defense that has often halted its advances. In return, Russia has been bombarding Ukraine with missiles, hitting both military and civilian targets. Attacks on city centers are often described as war crimes, and Russia has destroyed civilian infrastructure, killed civilians, and made life in many places in Ukraine difficult and dangerous.
Even though Russia may be flexing its military muscles in Ukraine with barrages of missiles, there is another world superpower with an even more impressive missile arsenal. The U.S. military possesses one of the most advanced missile arsenals in the world, with a wide range and platforms designed for a variety of operational uses.
To identify the longest-range missiles in the U.S. military arsenal, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed congressional research reports and military documents and publications, including Air & Space Forces Magazine and the U.S. Navy site. We ranked missiles according to their maximum range and added supplemental information regarding the types of bomb, which U.S. military branches use them, and the companies that make them.
This list includes defensive missiles designed to intercept approaching threats as well as tactical missile systems, anti-tank missiles, and strategic nuclear weapons. Some of the systems on the list have never been deployed, while others have been routinely used for decades. (Also see how some are used in combat: the U.S. military’s bombs and missiles and how they’re used in combat.)
Out of the U.S. arsenal, the intercontinental ballistic missiles stand out as the longest-range missiles, and they make up a critical component of the nation’s deterrence and defense strategy.
ICBMs are characterized by their reach, capable of traveling thousands of miles to strike targets with remarkable precision. The Minuteman III, a land-based missile with an operational range of over 8,000 miles, is a prime example. It serves as an integral element of the U.S. nuclear triad. (This is how an ICBM works.)
Another important component of the military’s arsenal is the AGM-114 Hellfire missile, which is one of the most widely used in modern military arsenals. It is primarily designed as an air-to-ground missile with a typical range of around 7 miles. This missile can be launched from a multitude of platforms, including helicopters, drones, and fixed-wing aircraft. It is typically used in roles such as anti-tank, anti-vehicle, and anti-ship engagements.
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