the lifting power, or payload maximum, of a ballistic missile exclusive of the weight of the rocket itself, and including the weight of the warhead or warheads and of guidance and penetration systems; ballistic delivery power: larger Soviet missiles with a throw weight of up to 20 megatons.
Origin of throw weight
First recorded in 1965–70
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the maximum weight of supplementary mechanisms that can be lifted by the boost stages of a particular missile
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
The size of the nuclear warhead or set of warheads that a missile, such as a ballistic missile, can carry. A nation might make up for the inaccuracy of its missiles by increasing their throw-weight.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.