Definition of heatseeking in US English:



  • (of a missile) able to detect and home in on infrared radiation emitted by a target, such as the exhaust vent of a jet aircraft.

    • ‘Exhaust fumes from the Apache engines are also cooled as they emerge to make it difficult for heat-seeking missiles to seek and destroy the aircraft.’
    • ‘The usual countermeasure for heat-seeking missiles is to confuse them by throwing out other sources of intense heat radiation, namely flares.’
    • ‘They have infrared countermeasure devices that confuse heat-seeking missiles.’
    • ‘As he attacks the ball, it is like watching a heat-seeking missile that has found its target.’
    • ‘These weapons provide Air Force Special Operations Command aircrews with defensive countermeasures against heat-seeking missiles or anti-aircraft weapons.’
    • ‘You could say that there was intentionality in a heat-seeking missile but it's at the same level as a cockroach running away from light.’
    • ‘Do their aircraft really have heat-seeking missile countermeasures?’
    • ‘In this case, though, it appeared it gave the crew almost no time to react, to dispense flares, or take other countermeasures that might have been able to evade these heat-seeking missiles.’
    • ‘Now the David of this story has armed himself not with a slingshot, but a heat-seeking missile.’
    • ‘Instead, like a heat-seeking missile, private clinics and hospitals home in on those more affluent areas of big cities that offer most profit, leaving the slums and the countryside to the public sector.’
    • ‘For example, the U.S. Department of Defense has a variety of systems that use infrared sensors, such as heat-seeking missiles, but in order for the sensors to work they must be cooled to freezing temperatures, which is expensive.’
    • ‘It launches heat-seeking missiles which go straight for a plane's engines, chasing them at twice the speed of sound.’
    • ‘Although both systems are very important to one's ability to use weapons beyond visual range, the employment of heat-seeking missiles and modern machine guns still requires the pilot to point the nose of the fighter jet at the target.’
    • ‘It is also not a shoulder-fired heat-seeking missile.’
    • ‘The flares, which are often made from magnesium, are fired from aircraft and used to fool heat-seeking missiles.’
    • ‘It is designed to detect the launch of a heat-seeking missile, determine if it is a threat and track its flight, before confusing it with an infra-red energy beam.’
    • ‘But witnesses at the airport last night reported that helicopters and aircraft were now taking off using flares, the heat from which deflects heat-seeking missiles targeting the aircraft.’
    • ‘Missile protection can be a drag: United Airlines is working with a Texas firm on a system to counter shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missiles, part of the Department of Homeland Security's mandate.’
    • ‘Army helicopters, containing the latest countermeasures - such as flares to lure away heat-seeking missiles - will be used to ferry dignitaries and even police officers around.’
    • ‘We're talking about a heat-seeking missile, most likely.’