Definition of lock on to in English:

lock on to

phrasal verb

  • Locate and then track (a target) by radar or similar means:

    ‘the new laser gun can lock on to a car from almost half a mile’
    • ‘Faced with too many targets and choices, the missiles failed to lock on to a single radar.’
    • ‘It automatically passes on details of the most serious threat to the ship to Seawolf's tracker, which then looks for - and locks on to - the incoming target.’
    • ‘Not dissimilar to the ‘heads-up display’ found in fighter planes, a glowing red circle at the centre of an eye-piece targets and locks on to a vehicle up to a kilometre away and records its speed with a high degree of accuracy.’
    • ‘These are flying bombs that hug the ground to avoid radar as they near a pre-programmed target, then use smart imaging systems to lock on to the target and make necessary final-course corrections.’
    • ‘During these trials the ability of the missile to reject countermeasures and remain locked on to its target was assessed.’
    • ‘It was a different matter when the height and speed of a bomber stream was determined by radar, for even if radar did not lock on to individual planes, it could place the barrage in the centre of the stream.’
    • ‘The receiver has to sort through this mess and figure out which signal to lock on to.’
    • ‘It has a range of between 800m and 3.5km and is a ‘tail-chasing heat source’, which means it locks on to heat from a plane's engines.’
    • ‘Driven reticles confirm the missile seeker is locked on to the same target the gunner is tracking.’
    • ‘As they attacked, Iraqi radar locked on to them.’