Some rocket- and missile designs sport an asymmetrically conical nose cone. A prime example being the Stunner missile in "David's Sling" surface-to-air system.

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Several sources (such as aviation week, cited by wikipedia) claim this enhances aerodynamics or manouverability, but no source gives any explanation why.

So, why? What is the reason behind this seeming unintuitive shape, and is it even dictated by aerodynamics, or rather seeker design?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Engineering! This is completely out of my wheelhouse, so I can't even attempt to give an answer, but note that this isn't specific to missiles: planes also have asymmetric nose cones. Hell, even birds don't have symmetric faces. $\endgroup$
    – Wasabi
    Mar 19, 2022 at 2:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Wasabi also fish and whales $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Mar 19, 2022 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ Promote the flow in one plane. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 19, 2022 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ My hypothesis is that it's an interceptor for cruise and ballistic missiles and other objects that don't try to evade it so I guess it wouldn't need the maneuverability to "dogfight". A nose like that would be more optimal aerodynamically since it could behave like a lifting body or just reduce nose drag from the AOA the airfoils need to fly at. Cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles don't need to be symmetrical either for similar reasons. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Mar 19, 2022 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


There is a MMW radar antenna above the IR seeker.


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