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A tactic wherein a military vehicle or craft — often a Humongous Mecha
— launches a massive salvo of missiles at a target (sometimes more missiles than you'd think the craft would be able to hold). The missiles often follow artistic curving trajectories
for no apparent reason, though strategically it may simply make them more difficult to dodge (or intercept, if there's any usable
point defence). Occasionally, this is explained in Space Opera
as the effect a ship's energy/force/gravity field has on the missiles. In some cases, this is justified by having the missile silos oriented up (or down) to allow for more surface area-and, in turn, more missiles. If More Dakka
is about spamming
bullets, then Macross Missile Massacre is the missile equivalent of it.
Expect the target to try a Beehive Barrier
to block the incoming ballistic barrage. A High-Speed Missile Dodge
is usually an effective counter as well. A slightly more proactive solution is to launch your own missiles or, if you have the option of More Dakka
, shooting them down. Trying to lead them away and crashing into an enemy
is usually reserved for Ace Pilots
. Can often be rendered into a Worf Barrage
Named after the Humongous Mecha
in the Macross
metaseries who fire swarms of missiles (specifically, 'micromissiles') that behave in precisely this way. It has also been called "Itano Circus"
, after animation director Ichiro Itano, who pioneered the most common aesthetic look of the MMM.
There are several actual weapons that fire a Macross Missile Massacre. In fact a whole lot
of real-life weapon systems are either designed or can be adapted to use this tactic, and if nothing else you can just gather a whole bunch of one-shot launchers together Hamas or Hezbollah-style; see Real Life
In fiction (other than Video Games
), it will often overlap with a Worf Barrage
, especially if it's used against a single target.
A form of Death In All Directions
, There Is No Kill Like Overkill
, and Impossibly Cool Weapon
. If this is fired from another missile in the form of a cluster or multi missile, then it's Recursive Ammo
. See also Beam Spam
and Magic Missile Storm
. See also the related video game genre, Bullet Hell
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Trope Namer. Crafts such as the YF-21 use this attack. Taken to the extreme with the VF-25 Messiah Armored pack, which carries 210 Missiles.
- Another extreme example occurs in episode 47 of Macross 7 when the fleet launches an MMM composed entirely of NUKES.
- The trope is so integral to the series that the Insectoid Alien Vajra from Macross Frontier actually produce missile like growths within their bodies to invoke the trope.
- Gundam Wing: Trowa Barton's Gundam Heavyarms. Despite an armament of 52 missiles + 36 homing missiles, instead of using them against multiple targets, he invariably launches all of them in a single barrage against a few targets.
- Wing also has a non-Gundam example like the strike cruiser the Preventers use in Endless Waltz. It has dozens of detachable modules, each of which fires out quite a few guided missiles.
- Roybea Roy's Gundam Leopard also uses this kind of attack.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 :Ptolemaios II, the Celestial Being mothership from the second season uses this trope heavily. Gundam Arios (and to a much, much smaller extent, Gundam Cherudim) use this too. But its support unit, GN Archer, really takes the cake, especially considering its relatively smaller dimensions.
- In the first season, the Assault Containers are actually equipped with two Gatling Guns... that fire fricking GN Missiles!. In the second season, these are moved to the main ship, as they don't need Assault Containers anymore. Yes, they have a battleship with Gatling Guns that fire missiles. Regular Missile Launchers are overrated.
- The Arios's first season predecessor, Gundam Kyrios, sort of does this, but has to carry a large missile launcher on it's fighter jet mode.
- Episode 22 of the second season the bad guys spread a cloud across the entire battlefield which prevents the use of beam weapons. Cue nearly two minute long battle royale of everyone firing and dodging MMMs.
- The Federation space forces do this a lot in the movie, but to little effect against the aliens.
- In the movie, practically everything that has weapons is capable of this, as it is needed to destroyed the ELS fast enough. Even Sniper-types aren't excluded. Gundam Zabanya, the newest Sniper-Type Gundam, is coveres in small armor-plates, that turn out to be GN Missile Containers... And it is armed with 76 missiles, aside from its 10 (14 in the final mission) GN Rifle Bits and Holster Bits (that can also fire, by the way). What exactly happened to the Dynames-line being Snipers?
- Gadelaza, a huge Mobile Armor the size of a freaking battleship, carries 256 GN Missiles, each bigger than Zabanya's Rifle Bits. It also carries 10 Gundam-sized GN Bits that each carry 14 smaller GN Fangs.
- Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory: Taken to another level by the Gundam GP03 Dendrobium. Its basic "Stamen" form is a conventional RX-78 clone with no missiles at all. But when it docks with the "Orchis" mobile armor, it can launch a salvo of almost TWO THOUSAND missiles.
- Gundam SEED and its sequel Gundam SEED Destiny. A notable example is the METEOR support craft. A Spiritual Successor-slash-Homage to the Orchis, it carries a grand total of 77 missiles spread all over its body. Combined with its beam cannons and the weapons of the mobile suit that pilots it, it can pull off the MMM and Beam Spam all at the same time.
- SEED and SEED Destiny also feature the Eternal, the ship that Lacus Clyne captains and houses the METEORs when not in use, which has missile launchers for most of its weaponry. Though the exact number of launchers isn't given, going by what is seen on screen it has at least 74. As a result, almost every shot of the ship firing its weapons is an MMM.
- Parodied in Love Hina Again, where Kaolla Su uses missile launchers attached to her arms and legs to generate the effect. Subverted somewhat in the Love Hina Spring Movie, when the latest incarnation of Mecha Tama does not, in fact, have unlimited missiles. It runs out.
- Cowboy Bebop.
- Episode "Gateway Shuffle", in which a baddie fires a giant missile full of a biological payload which the goodies attempt to intercept, which then splits into three missiles. They destroy all but one and are about to blow up the last when it splits into thousands more missiles.
- Episode "Honky Tonk Woman". The criminal boss's ship fires one of these at Faye's fleeing ship.
- Not surprisingly, The Big O also carries a stupidly large number of missiles in its chest cavity. Unfortunately, while they are deployed nearly every episode, their total destructive power barely rivals that of a road flare.
- The Zoids anime have various individuals who enjoyed this trope.
- Most notably Leena Toros in the Zoids: New Century series. Her only attack in an entire episode typically consisted of one giant Macross Missile Massacre, usually launched while shouting "Wild Weasel Unit Total Assault!!" For bonus points, her Humongous Mecha was a sniper unit before she had it modified.
- This was also the main attack method of the Panzer armour of the Liger Zero — which overheated the Zoid so much that the armour had to be ejected after using it. Fortunately, it's re-usable. The attack was first used to destroy an entire armada of flying enemies. Then later, it was used to destroy the chunks of a satellite so large its impact was going to devastate most of a continent. When locking onto its targets, it achieved so many missile locks that the cockpit sprouted new monitors in order to keep the targets on screen. He even fires missiles from his tail.
- Zoids: Genesis had Ron and his Bamboo Lion, who carried a limited number of cartridges with him anywhere he went, but they were usually key to destroying enemy bases, escaping, or otherwise taking down enemies that no one else could realistically fight.
- Project A-Ko: B-Ko's "Akagiyama Missiles".
- In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann the Missile Massacre is a favored "tactic" of Attenborough, who is prone to pushing the Fire button of the warships without warning, hence his nickname Beamspam McMuppet.
- It does become useful later on when the Missile Massacre simultaneously hits every point at every time in the universe, annihilating the entire enemy force throughout all times, until that point it never really does much.
- Simon did something similar to this a couple of times with projectile drills.
- Not to mention Rossiu had a small Moment Of Awesome for himself as he takes over while Simon rests after that projectile drill attack—he weaves and dodges the Gurren-Lagann through a veritable three-ring Itano Circus worth of missiles.
- DAKKA. COMPLETE WITH RAINBOW TRAILS.
- In the second movie, Yoko pulls off one of these by herself right after Kittan's death. The camera has to pull back a few times to show the sheer number of Anti-Spiral mechs she destroyed in one salvo.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, the Sagitta Magica spell is a common attack spell that launches anywhere from one to a hundred and ninety-three homing elemental blasts at a target, making it a 4M(Macross Magic Missile Massacre). Chachamaru did this at the end of the first anime adaptation using a pactio power.
- In the recent manga chapters, Negi uses 1,001(!) Sagitta Magica("Sagitta Magica-Series Lucis!") on Fate. Fate comments that even though the spell Negi used was a basic attack spell, he's developed it so much that it was no different from a large scale war magic.
- It's likely he can fire even more than that, in fact; considering the level Negi has reached by the end of the manga, he may be able to fire tens of thousands, were he to go all-out in a single spell. Now multiply that by however strong the enemy is if Negi used tactics similar to those he fought Jack Rakan with.
- In early episodes of Space Runaway Ideon this appears to be the Ideon's only method of attack. In later episodes, when said missiles have (literal?) god-like power, this will easily devastate fleets.
- Something of a Digimon tradition: the highest digivolved form of The Lancer's partner tends to be (but isn't always) an insanely weapon-laden cyborg.
- Digimon Adventure's Metal Garurumon used Ice Wolf Bite, an attack spamming freezing missiles, and cool (no pun intended) enough to be featured in his transformation sequence.
- Digimon Tamers: the Humongous Mecha-sized MegaGargomon had hundreds of missiles of all sizes that come from various hidden compartments all over his body. (However, this attack, while cool-looking, seldom finishes a fight. They just soften the bad guy up for the two hugely oversized (and oddly happy) shoulder missiles which are the finisher.)
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Homura uses her time-stopping power to do this manually with thousands of bazookas.
- A sequence in School Rumble had Harima racing to deliver his finished manga manuscript to the publisher while riding a giant curry dish as a sled. A truck carrying frozen tuna crashed—and fired its cargo at him, Macross Missile Massacre style. No really.
- The final battle of Voices of a Distant Star ends with a Macross Missile Massacre launched by Mikako, wiping out a good chunk of Tarsian Fleet.
- The Nirvana from Vandread shoots lasers this way, with the bonus that they can circumvent friendly troops while streaking toward their target.
- Not only Nirvana, Rabat's pet Orangutan is also intelligent enough to pilot a robot. "Intelligent" meaning, getting strapped in and firing 3M's at anything that moves 'til it runs out of ammo. When she used it the last time, she got lucky since Nirvana's crews are actually more than ready to resupply her.
- Even the small fighter craft are fully capable and willing to spew out several times their vehicular mass in missiles at the drop of a hat.
- While not technically a complete Macross Missile Massacre, the ending battle in OVA 5 of the air combat series Sentou Yousei Yukikaze resembles a pseudo 3M, as every surviving aircraft is remotely taken over by the Yukikaze AI and salvo fires all of their remaining missiles simultaneously. The result is several hundred to several thousand full-sized Air to Air missiles blanketing the horizon. Called a pseudo 3M because all those missiles really were needed to break through the swarms of JAM and allow Yukikaze to escort the Flip Knights & their nukes to the heart of the JAM central consciousness and because all of the aircraft carried a finite and generally realistic number of missiles individually.
- Kaoruko from Akahori Gedou Hour Rabuge often does this with her Powered Armor, which has four missile launchers (two on her legs, two on her arms) that fire like this.
- Spells from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, such as Axel Shooter and Plasma Lancer, invokes this image, only using balls or blades of energy. A straighter example can also be found in the Type-2 Gadget Drones of the third season, which launches salvos of small missiles as one of its attacks.
- In Nanoha, if any character (particularly shown: Fate and Chrono) using an attack with "... Shift", you can expect massive missile rain.
- We thought Fate had reached the epitome of this with Photon Lancer, Phalanx Shift. Then Reinforce turned it against her: Photon Lancer, Genocide Shift.
- Reinforce (the original Reinforce, mind you) also used a similar move called Bloody Dagger. It probably can be used by Hayate, too.
- Shugo Chara!: The variation within the form of an attack from Rima Mashiro's "Clown Drop" Character Transformation, the "Juggling Party", which does this with juggling pins. While it only(?) creates six of them, whereas most times this trope appears, the target is larger/around about the same size as the offender, the X-Characters are far physically smaller than her, therefore, it indeed evens in.
- In Kirameki Project a giant fighting mecha called "The Perfect" fires a ridiculously large salvo of missiles at a magical girl, Nene.
- In Samurai Pizza Cats, Lucille has this occur when she's upset, and the projectiles are stored within her hair.
- Crest of the Stars and its sequels made their battleships purely missile platforms that take Macross Missile Massacre to the absolutely ridiculous extent (the majority of the mass of ships multiple kilometers long consists solely of thousand and thousands of missiles). The sheer weight of fire ONE battleship could deliver would put Honor Harrington to shame. Of course, they were almost entirely Point Defenseless, but that's another matter.
- Well as David Weber pointed out many times, that is the trait of a low quality military or of pirates. The professional, high quality military, prefer adequately point defended ships, with fewer missiles. I mean what's the point in delivering 10000 missiles in a salvo if the enemy squats them all and blows you up, with his 1000 missile salvo, that gets through because you were Too Dumb to Live.
- In the Abhverse the opening stages of battle consist entirely of missile volleys and counter-missile volleys across huge distances, most of the missiles carried by the battleships are counter-missiles. Patrol ships, which only carry offensive missiles carry about twenty missiles. Also both Abh ships and Alliance ships are anything but point defenseless.
- In the Suzumiya Haruhi anime, Kyon does this with a bunch of fireworks from his bike, proving that even he is willing to do something stupidly dangerous for the sake of a Shout-Out. It is also a reference of how Itano created this trope in the first place; see the first example filed under Real Life.
- Two-thirds into Code Geass R2, Jeremiah Gottwald new mecha, Sutherland Sieg, fires a huge missile barrage he refers to as... THE STORM OF HIS LOYALTY!!!
- Eureka Seven features the Macross Missile Massacre prominently, in both missile and "homing laser" form. Unsurprisingly, it shares a mechanical designer with the Macross franchise.
- Its sequel, Eureka Seven AO starts using the Macross Missile Massacre in episode 13, just as the connections between the two shows start tightening up.
- Gokudera's Rocket Bombs in Katekyo Hitman Reborn! tend to be used like this.
- Pokémon: In Johto's "The Big Balloon Blow-Up," the Team Rocket trio fires miniature missiles at a chasing Noctowl and Pikachu. At least six rounds of at least six missiles in two small rocket launchers were fired in the episode, and the launchers couldn't possibly hold more than one round.
- Kouji Kabuto pulls this off in the final episode of Shin Mazinger, with Rocket Punches, no less.
- And in the original Mazinger Z series, several Mechanical Beasts (such like Brighton J2, Jinray S1 and Daima U5) used that strategy to attack Mazinger Z with sundry results. The mobile fortresses of Baron Ashura and Count Brocken also deployed an unholy amount of missiles — or torpedoes — when they engaged in combat against Mazinger Z.
- And in the sequel, Great Mazinger, one of the most used tactis of Jun Hono was showering her enemy with Venus A's OppaiMissiles.
- The Vegan warships and mini-saucers of UFO Robo Grendizer also blasted their targets with barrage of missiles.
- And in the short story New Mazinger Mazinger-Z itself used that tactic against an army of monsters.
- London. An armored airship, turning out hundreds of V2 missiles, like they're paper planes. And that's discounting the artificial Nazi undead the airship keeps belching. Little gems like that make Hellsing Crazy Awesome in all its gory glory.
- In the final episode of Blue Submarine No. 6, the titular Blue Sub 6 launches a Macross Torpedo Massacre at the Ghost Ship.
- The manga Sengoku Youko gives us one made of trees.
- Cure Sunshine's Gold Forte Burst in HeartCatch Pretty Cure!.
- In the backstory of Infinite Stratos, the nuclear weapons of the world's superpowers were hacked and launched at Japan. White Knight, the first IS, destroyed all of them single-handidly. It is all but stated outright that the inventor of the IS set up both the missiles and the White Knight to make the IS look good.
- In Submarine 707 R, the U-X uses these to sink two ships above it during the introduction.
- The Parabellum lets off one of these in Episode 23 of Bodacious Space Pirates against the Grand Cross. It shows that its shields are less effective against physical bombardment and several pirate ships use these to destroy a Grand Cross during the final battle.
- The Legioss in Genesis Climber MOSPEADA fire so many missiles from so many orifices that it seems impossible that such a small plane could carry all of that ordnance. The Tread add-on has even more missiles. It was a natural fit to be combined with Macross into Robotech.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Satchiel, the third Angel, faces a massive missile attack throughout the entire first episode.
- Also, there's a huge N-2 missile attack on the angel Sahaquiel,.
- In the movie Endof Evangelion, after realizing the true meaning of AT-Field, Asuka dodges a MMM from the UN army with an apparently several miles high jump.
- Alliance warships in Legend of Galactic Heroes are capable to doing this, although they tend to save this for desperation attacks.
- In the Apocalypse War plotline of Judge Dredd, East-Meg One destroys half of Mega-City One with nuclear missiles that split into smaller missiles, filling the entire skyline. They retaliate, with no success.
- Shun Hayami, an original character in Slightly Damned: Wind of Redemption and Rebirth, has this as one of his strongest attacks.
- Anansi, the Spider Tank boss in The Legend of Zelda fan fic Exoria, can launch multiple top-attack missiles at once.
- In An Entry With A Bang, Clancy-Earth aircraft throw a lot of missiles around. Then again, given how tough Battletech armour is, this is rather necessary.
- Fan Vids based on Touhou often use this to portray how danmaku would look in three dimensions.
- Bait and Switch: The USS Bajor, a Galaxy-class starship, carries a complement of 180 quantum torpedoes, and the crew commonly launches them in spreads.
- "From Bajor to the Black, Part II": After the fleet brings down the shields of a Borg cube with massed phaser fire the killshot comes in the form of "half a hundred torpedoes".
- Peace Forged in Fire: From the Tal'Shiar flagship Sienov, a Khnial-class battlecruiser based on the same technology as the Narada, using the weapons that blew away a fleet in Star Trek (2009). They target Morgan's screening ships and destroy at least three.
- In The Last Starfighter, the GunStar 1's attack of last resort, "Death Blossom", combines triple-M with Beam Spam, opening the loading access panels to the missile magazines and firing them all. In this case, though, none of the rockets actually hit anything.
- In Avatar, an entire fleet of helicopter things each launch all their missiles in rapid succession to defeat a tree.
- The Dragon also has lots of miniguns mounted on it. It gets to use them fully, suffice to say, and could clearly Take on the entire Na'vi population singlehandedly with its dozens of miniguns and missile launchers. And was, until Jake Sully used that brain of his.
- This is kind of the point of the Hailfire Droid's existence. Read this if you haven't got what the Hailfire is.
- The Jericho Missile of the Iron Man movie, which starts off as a single missile that splits up in mid-air. As Tony himself describes it...
Tony Stark: They say that the best weapon is the one you never have to fire. I respectfully disagree. I prefer the weapon you only have to fire once. That's how Dad did it, that's how America does it... and it's worked out pretty well so far. I present to you the newest in Stark Industries' Freedom line. Find an excuse to let one of these off the chain, and I personally guarantee, the bad guys won't even wanna come out of their caves. Ladies and gentlemen, for your consideration... the Jericho.
- Iron Man launches a salvo of mini-missiles himself in The Avengers.
- The new Star Trek movie has a Romulan Cool Ship called the Narada that seems to have missile tubes coming out the yin-yang, and those missiles themselves are fragmenting. It gets more interesting when you learn that the Narada is a mining vessel that has been hastily converted into a warship and that the missiles it fires are developed by the Romulans from reverse-engineered Borg technology. Repeat after me, There Is No Kill Like Overkill.
- Yet in the end, the Narada's Macross Missile Massacre is no match for the Enterprise's Beam Spam.
- Well, the missiles aren't. The Narada itself is no match for Spock's ship of doom. Interestingly one of the few genuine examples of Ramming Always Works.
- I don't know if that really counts as ramming, since Spock's ship of doom is more like a guided missile itself, with singularity-creating red matter as the warhead
- Laurence Olivier's film adaptation of Henry V and its famous scene when all of the longbow archers fire simultaneously.
- Which was a standard tactic for massed archers since ancient times. But if we count this, don't we have to count every period war movie from Pharaonic Egypt to the American Civil War?
- Maybe, but historically the Battle of Agincourt had a massive impact on history. Not to mention that Henry's army was somewhere near 90% archers which was unheard of at that time.
- The Humongous Mecha (very Real Robot, interestingly) sequence in District 9 has an awesome example.
- The director, Neill Blomkamp, referenced the 3M almost by name in the DVD commentary.
- The title of Korean film The Divine Weapon refers to the hwacha (described in the Real Life section below). The film's culmination revels in this trope, and is probably the best example you could get out of a non-Speculative Fiction story in pre-Modern setting.
- Despicable Me does this... a lot. The most notable — and probably the only real example that fits THIS trope — is where Gru, in his spaceship, is trying to steal back the shrink ray he just stole. One of his Minions hits this trigger, laughing maniacally, and two panels snap out from the sides of the ship that take up way more space than the ship itself. Vector responds by sending out these little drones that intercept the missile's heat-seeking technology. Then he shrinks Gru's ship to the size of a child's ride-in car.
- During the climactic scene at the Cuban waters in X-Men: First Class, the American and Soviet Navy decide to bombard the shore with the mutants with their rockets and missiles AND complimentary shelling thrown in. Of course, at that point Magneto has just recently developed his control over his own power, so one can imagine what a spiteful Magneto was going to do right after.
- Pacific Rim: Striker Eureka is armed with multiple missile launchers in its chest which can result in this.◊
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon has humankind unleashing a torrent of Tomahawk cruise missiles at Decepticon forces occupying Chicago. Given it was 9 Autobots, 2 miniature drones, Sam, a militia banded together from old NEST operatives, and a large squad of human soldiers airdropped in versus at least 200 Decepticons including Megatron, fighters and dropships, not to mention Sentinel Prime and his Pillars, it's exactly what was needed to turn the tide.
- This is standard military operating procedure in the Honor Harrington Space Opera series by David Weber. The in-story justification is to overwhelm the computerized defensive systems of enemy vessels. (A.K.A. the Manticore Missile Massacre.)
- To add to the awe-inspiring slaughter, given that the missiles are for delivering bomb-pumped lasers, with the tens of thousands (or much more) missiles launched, even accounting for countermeasures to defend against that, it also makes your average fleet engagement in the Honorverse an exercise in Beam Spam as well. Add the tribarrel for More Dakka goodness, and you have the Hat Trick of spam attacks.
- Also the trope is played straight in the later part of the series with medium combatants (cruisers, destroyers, battlecruisers) that get the opportunity, through off bore targeting missiles, to fire all their on board launchers at a single target. Considering that the launchers are fixed in position, for all the missiles to hit some of them will have to robotech to hit their targets. Also it's standard practice to have the missiles spreading so as not to kill one another with their drives, which begets, you guessed it, more roboteching.
- The First Battle of Manticore, which was at the time the largest battle in the history of the series, features a combined opening salvo of seven hundred thousand missiles (and the emphasis is Weber's). Repeat after me: SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND. So many that they fry most of the sensors being pointed at them. For reference, humanity has thus far built MAYBE 80,000 nuclear weapons total, each of which is of minute power compared to these. That right there is nine times the number and God knows how many times the firepower of the most destructive weapons available to mankind at the moment, and it's. The. Opening. Salvo.
- And their ships are no longer limited by how many missile tubes they have! In A Short Victorious War, Manticore reintroduces the missile pod, which is a battery of one-shot missile launchers that can be carried outside the ship. This allows a warship to fire far more missiles in its opening salvo than it could with just its ship-based tubes. Then Honor Among Enemies introduces naval vessels which are built around storage bays full of missile pods, which they can deploy rapidly, ultimately resulting in pod-laying superdreadnoughts, or "podnoughts", which, alongside the CLAC (Carrier, Light Attack Craft, essentially a space-age aircraft carrier) dominated the Second Manticoran-Havenite War. One sign of how utterly screwed the Solarians are is that their navy has no podnoughts. Currently, just five star nations — the Manticorans, the Havenites, the Graysons, the Andermani, and the Erewhonese — possess podnoughts. The first three are at war with the Solarian League. The Andermani, while officially neutral, are effectively in Manticore's camp. And Erewhon will likely turn on the League when Governor Barregos pulls the Sepoy Option.
- During the attack by the aliens in the Niven/Pournelle novel Footfall, one of the main characters explicitly comments that the barrage of incoming alien missiles reminded him of a Japanese science fiction cartoon.
- Done to an American convoy in Red Storm Rising. although that's with many aircraft flying two or three missiles each..
- Actually done so much in the novels by both the Soviets and allies that an alternate title for the page could be 'Soviet Missile Massacre' or 'Cruise Missile Massacre' or simply 'Red Storm Rising', but that doesn't sound so good with out the third "M". As revealed in the Real Life section bellow this is actually truth in fiction. Let's count them:
- The NATO airfield in Iceland
- The Nimitz battle group, with disastrous results: Nimitz heavily damaged, the French carrier Foch sunk, the amphibious assault ship Saipan (which was carrying 2000 marines) blown up with no survivors and several more damaged or sunk.
- Not one, but practically every Allied Convoy in the beginning of the war.
- The Russian airfields near Murmansk also get this treatment at the hands of sub launched American Tomahawk missiles.
- The the Russian battlecruiser Kirov gets the torpedo equivalent by four torpedoes fired from a Norwegian diesel sub.
- Kirov's escorts get mauled by a sub launched Harpoon MMM.
- USS Ticonderoga fires all her 96 missiles in less then 3 minutes while trying to defend the Nimitz Battle Group
- Also the F-14 Tomcats in the naval air battles described fire these at the squadron level
- This is actually a well-known tactic in naval anti-ship warfare — you launch missiles with the expectation that your target will launch countermissiles that will take out some of your missiles; the remainder will get closer while your target reloads its countermissile launchers to fire a second wave; the survivors of that launch will get closer while the target reloads again, repeated until the target can't reload and fire before the survivors reach the target. The VLS system on the Aegis cruisers and destroyers eliminate the reload time, but if you fire more missiles than the air-defense ships have countermissiles, your target is SOL even if all the countermissiles work.
- In the Antares novels, an attack carrier is a converted freighter carrying about ten thousand nuclear missiles each. In the first novel, the Ryall send three of these against Sandar. The purpose is to overwhelm planetary defense computers—oh, and to cause destruction on an untold scale.
- Commonplace in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
- One method for bringing down a planetary deflector shield is the torpedo sphere, a dedicated siege weapon that fires the things in veritable streams.
- This is the standard method for fighter attacks against capital ships, seen multiple times in the X-Wing Series. Hitting a warship with a dozen or more proton torpedoes almost simultaneously usually causes that area of the ship's Deflector Shields to fail (possibly due to computer overload).
- In The Bacta War, Booster Terrik's station mounts three hundred torpedo and missile launchers. It was all a ruse, with only the targeting sensors in place; the weapons themselves were loaded onto freighters and put to use against Lusankya later. The actual first salvo clocked in at eighty missiles (still enough to disable a small Star Destroyer, per shot).
- Wraith Squadron uses an improvised technique coined the "Loran Spitball" in a couple battles. It involves firing a bunch of proton torpedoes through the open hangar bay at the front of their modified Corellian Corvette, both times at targets who believe the Corvette to be friendly. The first such barrage severely cripples a frigate (which is destroyed with another torpedo barrage later in the same battle). The second, used against a Star Destroyer and coordinated with an attack by their TIE fighters, is less devastating but still causes significant damage to the ship (the TIE assault takes out the Star Destroyer's shields, and the torpedoes allow for the destruction of the ship's power cells later).
- UNSC warships in the Halo novels are capable of firing very large numbers of Archer missiles. The typical Archer pod contains 30 missiles, and even small ships like a frigate have over two-dozen pods, resulting in total payload of hundreds of missiles (perhaps thousands for larger ships). Unfortunately for the UNSC, all those missiles are useless against a Covenant warship if its shields are up, and even if its shields are down, its point defense lasers can shoot down a large portion of even a large volley of Archer missiles.
- It is also mentioned a single Archer missile is capable of disabling or outright destroying smaller human ships, so either warships were severely overpowered in engagements or the Human-Covenant war prompted the upgrade.
- In addition, the typical tactic against covenant warships was to launch a Macross Missile Massacre to weaken the shields before shooting a MAC round or two. This was, however, often weakened due to the fact that Covenant targeting systems were precise enough to destroy at least half of the missiles during their flight to the target.
- In the Dale Brown novel Plan of Attack, the Air Battle Force takes severe casualties after Russians lob many, many missiles at them. Including nuclear ones.
- The Bolo tanks often carry a VLS battery or two capable of unleashing the MMM. Their excellent point defenses and armour allow them to survive multiple MMMs.
- In the History of the Galaxy books, dedicated missile frigates are equipped with a 100 missile tubes, able to launch them simultaneously at 50 separate targets. The novel where they are described shows one ambushing two frigates and blowing them to smithereens, although they are able to shoot a number of the missiles down. Then a heavy cruiser shows up. The missile frigate launches another 100 missiles, but the cruiser only sustains light damage thanks to its superior point-defense systems and EM screens. For reference, a heavy (or flagship) cruiser is ten times the size of the missile frigate and roughly 7 kilometers (about 4.3 miles) long.
- In Fyodor Berezin's Ash, Earth is at war with its off-world colony in another star system. By the time of the novel, the colony has been turned into a radioactive wasteland by constant nuclear bombardment. However, it is revealed that at least two habitats exist: one is deep under a mountain range, while the other is at the bottom of the ocean. The leader of the first knows their society won't last long. His only goal is to strike back. Since he can't attack Earth, he plans to destroy the Earthlings' base on the planet's moon. To this end, they construct thousands of MIRV missiles and launch them. When the missiles split, they also release duds, which are basically inflated objects with radar-reflecting paint. Altogether, the enemy sees hundreds of thousands of targets coming at them, only about 10-15% of which are real nuclear warheads. Despite this, the automated defenses built years before do a good job at reducing that number substantially. In the end, only a few impact the vicinity of the base, killing dozens of pilots. Several missiles are also shown to have cluster warheads with "mini-nukes" using californium, which has a much smaller critical mass than plutonium. Also, the attack on the base turns out to be a diversion, as several missiles break off and proceed to knock an asteroid off its orbit to fall on the base.
- Troy Rising: Humans and others, particularly in The Hot Gate, throw around up to hundreds of thousands of missiles, depending on the specific engagement under discussion, at one point outdoing the entire missile expenditure of both sides at the Battle of Manticore.
- In Manifold: Space, a fleet of Planet Looters in orbit around Mercury is completely obliterated when liberally-seeded, re-engineered lunar flowers, which fire rocket-propelled seed pods, simultaneously fire from all over the planet in a single massive bombardment.
- Ciaphas Cain:
- For the Emperor briefly shows a pair of Tau battlesuits helping out an Imperial Guard infantry attack by unloading a huge barrage of missiles at traitor PDF positions.
- Played with in The Emperor's Finest. Some Ork warships attack the Reclaimers Strike Cruiser Revenant with an enormous salvo of torpedoes too big for the Space Marines' Thunderhawks to stop. Then they impact without detonating and turn out to be Boarding Pods instead.
- In the Star Carrier series this is the main defensive measure used by Turusch warships against Confederation fighter attacks. They just spam so many kiloton-yield nuclear missiles at them that they can't evade them all. The defense of last resort for the fighters is AMSO canisters, missile countermeasures filled with granules of degenerate matter that destroy the missiles (and pose a serious hazard to anything else) by kinetic force. Also, in the second book a Confederation capital ship disables part of a H'rulka warship this way moments before the H'rulka return fire one-shots it.
- The Battle at Martian Orbit in Mikhail Akhmanov's Invasion has Admiral Timokhin's battlegroup (6 in-system cruisers and their escorts) engage the enormous Faata starship and its "combat modules". Timokhin's ships manage to launch a 500 nuclear missile barrage at the starship with the combined firepower of about 140 gigaton. The Faata starship's Deflector Shields take the hit with barely a Star Trek Shake. In later novels, this practice pretty much ceases to exist, as shields make missiles (even nukes) largely useless in space battles.
Live Action TV
- Stargate Verse:
- Happens during a major battle in Stargate SG-1. Jack uses an Ancient command chair to destroy Anubis' mothership with a veritable legion of Drone missiles, which compensates for being grossly unnecessary in volume with its sheer awesome. Though, Anubis survives. Also, during the preceding aerial battle over Antarctica, the F-302s assigned to the Prometheus lead the way with a salvo of Sidewinder missiles aimed at Anubis' fighters.
- The Ancient drone weapons were apparently designed specifically for this tactic, but in Stargate Atlantis the team never had enough to spare because of limited supplies. Apparently in the war against the Wraith, the Ancients themselves couldn't produce enough to deal with their onslaught.
- Well, they only had a few dozen during the Battle of Atlantis at the end of the first season, but after the events in the second season episode The Tower Sheppard claims they were able to trade medical supplies and an IDC for enough drones to restock Atlantis.
- A more straight up example is when the Daedalus ambushes a pair of hive ships in the episode "No Man's Land" and the ship rapidly deploys it's entire battery of VLS launched nuclear missiles and has them fan out into a wave while trying to overwhelm the fighter screen of a Wraith hive ship. It partially works.
- Kamen Rider has more than one example:
- Kamen Rider Ryuki: All Riders have a "Final Vent". Most of them are melee attacks that create perhaps a man-sized explosion at best. The Final Vent of Kamen Rider Zolda (And by extension, Torque), on the other hand, is a barrage of dozens upon dozens of missiles resulting in a humongous explosion and frequently beating the shit out of several other Riders. It is appropriately named "End of World".
- Kamen Rider 555: The super-charged bike of Kamen Rider Kaixa has a mecha mode that can fire one of these.
- Kamen Rider Den-O: Boistous Shot, Climax Form's Gun Form-based 'Charge And Up' finisher is this.
- Kamen Rider Double: LunaTrigger's finisher, "Trigger Full Burst", is this. A rather neat trick considering it's laser bullets and not missiles that are doing the trajectory curving, but the Luna form combinations regularly break the laws of physics anyways.
- Kamen Rider OOO: OOO's TaJaDor combo, which features projectiles shaped like peacock tail feathers.
- GrandLiner, the Mid-Season Upgrade Humongous Mecha in Rescue Sentai GoGoFive, essentially a giant walking fortress formed by train cars, combines a Macross Missile Massacre with a hail of bullets from a giant Gatling engine, both shoulder-mounted; the technique is called "Grand Fire".
- Oh, but that's not its real finisher, no... When its time for the endgame move, "Grand Storm", it equips the Gatling and Missile engines onto its fists and lets out two solid punches with them while firing them at full power. Overkill...
- Happens routinely on the new Battlestar Galactica. Cylon basestars are especially prone to firing gigantic salvos of missiles (with cool vapor trails) that home in on the Galactica. If Galactica is on top of its game, the missiles get shot down by Vipers and the battlestar's anti-aircraft guns. If not, expect some breakage.
- They also really like to jump away right before the missiles hit.
- Racetrack's Raptor in the Grand Finale
- A group of Cylon Raiders use one of these to kill the non-FTL capable civillain fleet in the miniseries. Granted, there were enough targets to justify the manoeuvre.
- Babylon 5:
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: In a more mild example than usual, the Enterprise-D is capable of launching up to five torpedoes in rapid succession before reloading, and the tech books state that the Galaxy-class carries a complement of 250.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- The eponymous station launches 5000 photon torpedoes from a Gatling torpedo launcher and other munitions at an invading Klingon force, in the episode "The Way of the Warrior".
- A Jem'Hadar battleship does this to a lesser extent in "Valiant" against a single ship.
- The favored tactic of Andromeda in the early seasons. At one point a FLEET of ships did so, which one captain described as 'Carpet Bombing Space'. It was pretty impressive.
- The primary purpose of the Siege Perilous-class assault ships built during the Commonwealth's final days. With their 180 missile tubes, they can launch more missiles than an entire fleet, making them perfect ship-killers.
- Of the four built, three were shown on screen and played important roles: the Balance of Judgment survived the Nietzscheans rebellion, but its AI went insane; the Wrath of Achilles was captured in battle and kept in the "starship prison" system; the Resolution of Hector was built by the New Commonwealth but hijacked by the Judgments's AI. The unnamed fourth ship was destroyed in port by the Nietzscheans.
- Done several times on Mythbusters to test various rocket myths. Notable one being the alcohol myths episode where the build team tested a Korean arrow launcher (the hwacha mentioned below IRL).
- Space: Above and Beyond has a very memorable use of it in the duel between Lt. Col. T.C. McQueen and Chiggy von Richthofen, ended when McQueen sends all six of his missiles into Chiggy at once.
- In the season one finale of Terra Nova the bad guys spot Col. Taylor and his soldiers trying to get away in a vehicle. The vehicle is hidden by a dense tree canopy so they cannot target it directly. Instead Lucas fires off a missile that splits into multiple smaller missiles that then rain down on the forest in a wide spread.
- Zone Fighter has a very similarly named Special Attack that fires out of the titular hero's wristbands at least once an episode- the Meteor Missile Might!
- Rifts has several mecha who can do this, being mounted with Mini Missile launchers that carry obscene loads of small missiles almost designed to be used in this way. Not unsurprising as Palladium Books also published an RPG based on the Robotech franchise that used the same system.
- The Robotech RPG was released prior to Rifts, and was the first instance of the name "Mini Missile" actually being used.
- Both Eldar Dark Reaper Reaper Launchers and Space Marine Heavy Bolters are described in the Warhammer 40,000 fluff as firing many miniature missiles and firing rocket-propelled rounds respectively, although scale-wise those are closely to More Dakka. The Tau get a Missile (Im)Barrage on their Skyray Missile Gunships, not to mention multi-launch missile systems on their battlesuits. The Sisters of Battle have Exorcist artillery organs that do this. Space Marines also have multiple missile tubes on their Whirlwinds, but not to as over-the-top extents as with Skyrays or Exorcists.
- By the way, those Exorcists? They're fired by Sisters who play the keys of the pipe organ that serves as the launcher for the rockets.
- So you could say that when it comes to missiles, the Sisters of Battle pull out all the stops?
- Cthulhu Tech, homage-storm that it is, features rocket-pods that use exactly this method as heavy weapons for their Humongous Mecha. The big winner is the Cherub-class Engel, a middling-sized support mech that can hit a target with up to a dozen rockets at once.
- Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 has one Prestige Class, the Force Missile Mage, dedicated to turning the Magic Missile spell into this.
- Not quite, the Force Missile Mage just adds an additional two missiles, making a total of seven for a high level caster. However, if you combine this with creative use of Metamagic (namely Quicken Spell and Twin Spell) one can easily fire off as many as 28 in a single turn, if you use Delay Spell you can end up with over fifty Magic Missiles going off at once.
- The "Magic Missile Shotgun": a Rod of Wands (holds up to three wands and allows you to use those wands simultaneously) and three Wands of Magic Missile (high level crafter = five Missiles per use each). Pull the trigger and it fires fifteen unerring bolts of magical force. Upgrade those wands to Maximized Magic Missile (automatically does greatest possible damage) and that's 75 points of damage per turn that cannot miss.
- Better still, 21st-level casters can use Intensify Spell instead of Maximize Spell. Intensified spells do double maximum damage.
- And like everything in DnD tactics like this can be optimized to insane extremes, as can be seen in this set up which launches well over a hundred orbs of force and does just a hair under 4000 damage on average.
- Battletech, for a long time only used their missiles this way. The individual missiles themselves were rather weak though, and could only do damage in numbers or through a lucky hit. With the exception of artillery and warship-mounted missiles (which soon became extinct in the main setting), it was centuries before somebody revisited the concept of a powerful missile. Some mechs that are practically made of this trope. Gaze upon the Yeoman◊, ye mighty, and despair!
- The Yeoman's nothing. Check out the mighty Kraken 3. No other mech epitomizes the Macross Missile Massacre to the same extent — this mech mounts 8 LRM 15 pods. That means it has 8 different launchers that each fire 15 missiles, giving it the capacity to launch a staggering 120 missiles simultaneously.
- The vehicular 'SRM Carrier' has 10 6-packs of short range missiles (that's 60 missiles per shot, thank you). One * will* scrub most of the armor off the biggest mechs in the game. The tricky part is living to take the * second* shot.
- Also worth noting: standard BattleTech missiles are individually actually very small. One metric ton of long-range missile ammo for example consists of 120 individual missiles (launchable in salvos of 5, 10, 15, or 20), which works out to each of them weighing 8 1/3 kg or about 18.4 lbs. This puts them firmly in the 'man-portable' weight class, and indeed missile-equipped infantry exists in the game, but well below 'real' real life rocket artillery or guided missiles. (The WW2 Katyusha mentioned in the Real Life section below fired salvos of individual missiles weighing five times this much.)
- In GURPS, firing a sufficient number of projectiles at an enemy gives a free increase in accuracy because it's harder to get out of the way. Unfortunately the rules don't allow for a successful MMM (more than a fraction hitting) except on a critical success. Though there are rules for firing 20 round salvos for weapons with very high rates of fire which produce a dozen or so hits even with an unsuccessful attack.
- Unless the projectiles are guided or homing, then they kinda just hit stuff, pretty much regardless.
- In the "Interstellar Wars" setting for Traveller, this is standard Vilani naval doctrine.
- In Mekton, missiles are virtually worthless unless fired en masse, necessitating the use of large numbers to hurt your enemy. (The Mekton Tactical Display explained how to build a MIRV: cram as many missiles as possible onto a flying Remote, then point it at the enemy and watch.)
- In Battlemachines the dakka infused biggy gun can be upgraded to have explosive rounds. Of course its just one of the many weapons you can make.
- The Kzinti in Star Fleet Battles usually try to overwhelm their opponents' defenses by saturating the battlefield with drones (which is what missiles are called in that universe).
- Standard capital ship stand-off tactics in Starfire. Necessary due to the presence of Point Defense systems on most targets.
- This page provides a beautiful example... the ships committing the Missile Massacre look designed precisely for such a purpose, and we even see empty launch tubes being left behind by missiles that have already been expended.
- In the same battle, we see cluster missiles that break up into MMMs en route.
- In Dragon Ball Multiverse, the first opponent Uub face use this... on a one on one combat in a tournament. It's about as effective as you think.
- The Whiteboard: In the 2010 Zombie Apocalypse story arc, the APC from Aliens included, as part of its armament, an ungodly amount of guided missiles, which it spent liberally. In fact, the arming switches are labeled "Missles", "More Missiles" and "All the Missiles!". Considering Doc and Roger are worshipers at the Church of Spam Attack, this is probably not surprising.
- Bob and George: while Protoman doesn't normally have this, a common tactic of his is to merge with Nate, producing a rocket-heavy combined form known as Protean. While normally fitted with eight missiles, Nate being a shapeshifting goo monster, they can easily go up to this. And Nate can regenerate them when he's not building up a large coating of goo on his target to produce a massive crushing fist around them.
- Parodied in Megas XLR episode "TV Dinner", where Coop pushes three buttons on his control panel that are labelled "Missiles", "More Missiles" and "All The Missiles." The missile swarm turns out to be ineffective, as the Monster of the Week it was used against was the size of a small planet.
- Also in "S-Force SOS", with Coop's "Super Destructor Mode" modification. Coop screwed up the targeting system, hitting the S-Force by accident, but failed to kill them.
- Any number of Transformers can do this, though Demolishor's rebuilt form in Energon is the one that comes to mind first.
- Powerpuff Dynamo (Dynamic Nanotechnic Monobot) in its debut episode, "Uh Oh, Dynamo", is anywhere between subversion and deconstruction of Triple M. The heatseekers massacre everything in the city... except the giant Puffer Fish. Maybe its cold-bloodedness has something to do with it.
- Meatwad does this to Shake in one episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Frylock has just built a humongous mecha as a body replacement for Carl, who had been reduced to a disembodied head. Meatwad takes control of the robot, grabs Shake, throws him up into the air and blows him up with a barrage of missiles.
- Used in an episode of ReBoot. Matrix's flying motorcycle surprisingly produced several rows of missile racks behind it to launch one of these at the enemy, and does a pretty good job with it.
- In SWAT Kats, the Turbokat performs this attack twice. The first time with buzzsaw missiles while under the control of Hard Drive in "Night of Dark Kat", the second time in "When Strikes Mutilor", to destroy the fighter Mutilor was intending to use to destroy the drive and crash the mothership into the planet's surface.
- Deliberately homaged in Justice League Unlimited, with one hero in a Powered Armor using this against the near-unstoppable android Amazo. It didn't work. Didn't even slow him down.
- In Star Wars: Clone Wars, one of these was fired at the Republic starfighters by the droid starfighters. Anakin Skywalker got them all following him, then used the Misguided Missile technique and flew straight through the nearest enemy capital ship's starfighter launch bay, For Massive Damage. He still had a swarm of missiles after him, though, so he got his fighter squadrons to line up a shot at where he was going to be and fire off another Macross Missile Massacre. The two Massacres collided in midair (-space?) and wiped each other out.
- The Big Guy and Rusty intro shows the Big Guy being able to do this with dozens of spiraling missiles. Sadly he prefers using the machine guns in his armpits rather than falling for the rule of cool and spamming missiles.
- The Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Super Robot has this one. As well as about every other Super Robot trope... In fact it can deploy this attack from the fingertips, the arms, or the feet.
- The Skysurfer Strike Force member Air Enforcer had four missile launchers, two on his shoulders and two on his legs. His signature attack was firing all his missiles at once in a borg blasting barrage. The villainous shapeshifter Replicon, who can turn his arms and head into missile launchers also does this frequently.
- Not as impressive as below, but in a TV interview (and later repeated at convention appearances), Itano revealed that his inspiration for the Macross Missile Massacre was, while in college, attaching about 100 bottle rockets to the sides of his motorcycle, and at about 40mph, lighting them all off at once. Then getting out of the area before anyone called the cops.
- The concept of Multiple Launch Rocket System / Free Rocket Over Ground: see a concentration of enemy troops, quickly unload a lot of cheap unguided rockets to scour the whole area.
- Surprisingly, this is Older Than Steam: The historical Korean hwacha — which can be best described as a Schizo Tech Katyusha — also functioned in much the same way, a 15-16th century saturation artillery piece capable of firing up to 100 steel-tipped rockets or 200 singijeon (effectively fire arrows). Therefore although there are hints of a Chinese version, it's likely that this trope was invented in Korea.
- Soviet "Katyusha" MLRS, starting from BM-13-16 and BM-8-48 (132mm / 82mm respectively, the second number is rails) note , also known as "Stalin's Organ" due to their distinctive sound. They had variant ammo (like anti-armor, or spreading thermite elements for even more Impressive Pyrotechnics); most fighter-bombers and ground assault planes also carried launchers: 132-mm x10 on Su-2◊ x4-8 on Il-2 (save late anti-tank variants) and Il-10. Add a few ships and launch frames used as less mobile artillery, though these mainly used less rails of higher calibers.
- 82-mm x6 on some I-16◊ (first used on Khalkin-Gol) and LaGG-3◊, sometimes used as pocket flak guns — even if an unguided rocket isn't fit to snipe a fighter, launching a wave of these can both soften and scatter formations.
- Its descendants the 9K51 (or BM-21) "Grad" ("Hail") note and the BM-30 "Smerch" ("Tornado") note — the first can fire 720 missiles at once when packed in a battalion of 18 launchers, while the second can fire a missile every 3 seconds or so. Ammunition varies from regular HE and HEAT rounds to mines. Of course, during the Cold War many USSR allies got these as well. There's also a close-range (up to 6km) TOS-1 "Buratino" note (russian "Pinocchio") is a 30-round MLRS mounted on the T-72 tank chassis. It's not just a regular house-sized rocket launcher, but a flamethrower system with incendiary or thermobaric warheads with a devastating area of effect. Also, unlike similar vehicles, it can launch rockets in pairs.
- The American T34 Calliope, basically a Sherman tank with sixty rocket tubes strapped onto it. Developed a year after the 48-rail Katyusha variant, one wonders if the designers were thinking "those Russians are onto something, but it needs More Dakka". USSR had a few experimental rocket tanks, but chose to stick with more mobile truck "artillery".
- The American M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. Each MLRS vehicle can launch 12 277mm rockets within sixty seconds. Each rocket can contain up to 644 submunitions. Total throw is therefore 7,728 bombs launched in under a minute per vehicle. MLRS batteries are colloquially known as 'grid square erasers.' It can also shoot guided missiles for extra precision.
- The MMM was very much a planned tactic of Soviet Maritime Aviation in a World War III scenario using a lot of Tu-16 and Tu-22M bombers along with missile subs like the "Echo". Since the Tu-16's reporting name is "Badger" and it carried Mnogo Nukes, the joke is obvious.... Sergey Gorshkov, commander-in-chief of the Soviet Navy from 1968 to 1985 called this "the battle of the first salvo".
- The "naval missile massacre" came about with the advent of the cruise missile after World War II. These were basically jet-powered kamikazes that were controlled by inertial guidance systems and radar seekers rather than human pilots. The Soviets didn't have aircraft carriers nor could they have matched the U.S. even if they tried, so they turned to the cruise missile as their naval weapon of choice. The U.S. Navy noticed this and started arming their ships with anti-air missiles that could shoot down incoming cruise missiles. The Soviets responded by building better missiles and lots more of them; they put cruise missiles on ships down to the smallest corvette, on planes, and on submarines, with the intent of firing a massive salvo at a U.S. carrier group to overwhelm its defenses. The U.S. responded with Aegis, a ship-based system meant to track and engage lots and lots of incoming missiles. The U.S. also deployed the F-14, a long range interceptor whose main mission was to shoot down incoming bombers before they could fire their cruise missiles, or failing that, shoot down the missiles themselves. At that point it really came down to tactics, as the Soviets would try to detect an incoming carrier group and then try to organize their killer salvo, while the Americans tried to stay hidden by keeping their radars turned off while using fighter aircraft to shoot down any incoming scout planes and disrupt bomber formations. Then of course the Cold War ended, and we never got the chance to see how this fight would turn out.
- At the current state of the art, the US Navy's 'Aegis' missile defense technology is essentially undefeatable except by a wave (or waves) of inbound threats larger than what the system is capable of handling (which it does by launching counter-missiles rapidly enough to simultaneously engage them all).
- Russian Orlan/"Kirov" class can do the same. The nuclear-powered cruiser has a greater SAM capacity than most other vessels on the planet, with four different types carried. Its main SAM battery consists basically of navalized version of the venerable S-300 system, with eight vertical revolver-type launchers, each holding eight missiles. This gives us 64 large long-range missiles, but each cell in those launcher could accept from four to eight smaller, shorter range missiles, driving the number up to 512 missiles. These could be fired in salvos limited only by the fire control ability, which is, admittedly, somewhat lacking, but given that Aegis-analogue is already coming online note and it would be installed on them during a scheduled refit — all bets are off.
- In many western Navies the always crowd pleasing close in gun systems like the Vulcan Phalanx are being replaced/augmented by the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe (anti-missile) Missile. These are fitted in 21-cell launchers with full 360° rotation and 90° elevation. Unlike gun-based close in weapons systems the missile system can engage many target simultaneously via a Macross Missile Massacre style launch. Of course at $500,000 per missile such a Massacre is going to cost upwards of $10 million dollars. Which is still a good deal, if it saves a $1 billion dollar ship and its crew, and keeps it viable as a tactical asset in the battle.
- The U.S Navy also uses a Macross Missile Massacre as the main offensive weapon for its cruisers and destroyers: the Vertical Launching System (VLS). This badass launcher can pump out Tomahawks or SAMs at a ridiculous rate (about one every two seconds) to attack ground targets, aircraft, or even space targets like satellites and ballistic missiles. The VLS-SM3 combo has been demonstrated as easily capable of killing an orbiting satellite. However, the plan for future ships like the Zumwalt-Class stealth destroyer see the VLS-Tomahawk land-attack combo being replaced by the 155mm howitzer-based Advanced Gun System, and later, by electromagnetic railguns. BFGs are more cost-effective than MMMs.
- New Russian UKSK VLS is built around the same idea, but, as it uses a cold-launch approach, it's much cheaper and lighter on a per cell basis, so even a 2000-ton corvette is able to carry a couple of 8-cell modules.
- The Ohio-class SSGN submarine, which can carry up to 154 cruise missiles in its VLS tubes.
- A very large number of real-life weapon systems or tactics can be considered real-life versions of this, from multiple rocket launchers which can fire a large number of either "dumb" or "smart" munitions, to simply clustering a bunch of weapon launchers together or coordinating a large number of missile launches (works doubly best when paired with previous described weapon) or large bombers like the B-52 whose primary mission is to saturate a target area with missiles (back in the Cold War days, nuclear-tipped missiles), let alone ballistic-missile launching submarines like the Soviet "Typhoon"-class (if you've ever seen The Hunt for Red October this is the real-life submarine the titular vessel is based on) which can carry 20 missiles with ten warheads each, or an American Ohio-class submarine converted to launch 156 land attack cruise missiles, also cluster-munition capable. A reason why the Macross Missile Massacre is such a popular trope, after all, is because it happens to be a very useful and devastating real-life tactic, especially when target destruction must be guaranteed, probability of missile evasion or interception is high, and when collateral damage isn't given an afterthought or when the missiles have sufficiently "smart" enough guidance to prevent such.
- When engaged in air-to-air combat, opposing aircraft will "ripple-fire" missiles at each other to increase the probability of a kill. This especially occurred in The Vietnam War, early missiles being unreliable, frequently missing when they worked at all. In effect, the Macross Missile Massacre is really just an exaggerated, Rule of Cool-conforming version of this real life tactic.
- As for the distinctive spiraling flght paths which often show at least a few missiles moving in arcs towards the target? Also Truth in Television, at least for some weapon systems. The reasoning is simple — a projectile moving horizontally can be dodged or blocked by conventional obstacles. One flying straight down at the target, on the other hand, is much more difficult to avoid.
- It might be accurate to say that militaries were forced to use this tactic before the invention of guided weapons. Without the ability to target a single location, the only way to hit the enemy most of the time was to blanket the area they're in with shells, rockets, or bombs. Although an artillery barrage isn't as visually spectacular as a true 3M due to the lack of flames or smoke trails, it was just as effective. Also, the image of a massive bomber emptying her bays over a target has become a symbol of air raids since WW2, despite the fact that stand-off weaponry is increasingly now becoming the norm.
- Pre-WW2 British subs were designed with this tactic in mind. The Royal Navy believed that advances in ASW meant that British submarines attacking enemy warships would be unable to get close to their targets without being detected by the enemy's sonar. Therefore the attacks would have to be made at long range, and to compensate for the vagueness of torpedo aiming at this range this meant that a large torpedo salvo would be needed in order to guarantee hits. How large? The T-class boats had ten forward facing torpedo tubes (by comparison, the larger US boats had six forward tubes and the German type VII and type IX U-boats, only four).
- Officially, Gary Power's U-2 and accidentally a pursuing MiG-19 (piloted by Sergei Safronov) were shot down with a salvo of fourteen S-75 Dvina/SA-2 "Guideline" missiles. Other versions of the event are:
- A Su-9 caught the U-2 in her slipstream, breaking off the wings. The missiles hit the aforementioned MiG-19.
- A first three-missile salvo destroyed the U-2. Other batteries were unsure about the success and thirteen more missiles were fired, hitting the MiG-19.
- The term MIRV stands for "Multiple Independently-targetable Reentry Vehicle" and is used to describe short-range to ICBM class nuclear-tipped missiles that contain a single first stage with multiple warheads that will detach after launch, shortly before impact. (Reportedly the Trident II is capable of carrying at least 12 warheads per missile.) The contrails in Missile Command that would split up to hit multiple targets? This is the real life weapon on which they were based.
- The British Starstreak Close Air Defense Missile is designed to kill low flying aircraft by launching three smaller guided sub-munitions that then home into its target mid flight. Think about it, it's a missile that launches a small Macross Missile Massacre, in real life!
- Though not exactly missiles, multiple-launched aerial rockets were the primary armament of US Air Force interceptors in the 1950's. See article on other Wiki and this vid.
- The German R4M rocket was intended as a way to destroy a B-17/B-24-sized target in one salvo. One 55-millimeter rocket may not have been much, but shotgun 24 of them at once and you've got something going.
- The Nebelwerfer 41 and 42.
- The LARS (Leichtes Artillerieraketensystem/Light Artillery Rocket System): Two bundles with 18 launch tubes each per vehicle, planned to be used in groups of four.
- This trope is not quite as unrealistic as one might think since actual guided missiles often follow slightly erratic paths until they get up to speed and any course to intercept a moving target has to be curved by definition. Naturally the flight paths of real-world missiles aren't nearly as exaggerated.
- Historically, it's taken an average of 20 surface-to-air missiles to bring down one aircraft.
- The AGM-124 Wasp was a small "mini-missile" that could be launched in multiples on one pass against massed tank formations. Carried in launch pods, an A-10 loaded with them could launch a total of 40 of these things. Each missile acted autonomously and talked to each other so that only one missile went after a separate tank. It was, unfortunately too expensive to enter mass production and was canceled in 1983.
- The tradition of Rouketopolemos (literally translated as Rocket War) in the town of Vrontados qualifies. The objective is for two churches to launch as many rockets at each other as possible, hoping to ring the other churches' bell with a rocket. The result is this trope. Here's another video.
- The Type 45 "Daring-class" Destroyer, the UK's latest Cool Boat, has been designed with averting this in mind — its anti-missile radar is so good that the US Navy ask them to turn it off for exercises because it "constrains the training."
- Operation Behemoth was a test of this. The idea was to launch all SLBMs of a Delta-IV in a single salvo: 16 missiles were fired within 244 seconds or one each 14 seconds.
- This trope is Older Than Steam — one proposed British tactic in the Age Of Sail was to hollow out an old ship, fill it with vertically launching rockets, tip it on its side at low tide, then light the fuse.
- This could be the fate that befalls North Korea. If they fire a shell at South Korea, then both South Korea and the US will fire back. With more missiles that North Korea could possibly handle.
- North Korea has shelled South Korea in recent times. Specifically on November 23, 2010, Korean Peoples' Army posts in Muto and Kaemori fired 170 shells and rockets at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, prompting the South Koreans to return fire at either target. Fortunately the North didn't press their offensive (which would have undoubtedly ended the armistice and renewed the shooting war), likely due to the fear of the South (and the US) invoking this trope if pushed too far.
- Metal Storm Limited is the manufacturer of stacked-projectile weapons — weapons whose barrels contain several sets of propellant and projectile stacked on top of each other, with separate ignition for each propellant charge, so that you can fire one projectile or ripple through each one in turn with no wait for an action to cycle. While their current products are of more modest design, they have demonstrated a 36-barrel machine gun, a miltrailleuse design utilizing their stacked-round technology to achieve a rate of fire in excess of a million rounds per minute for a 180-round burst.
- The M202 FLASH, a 66mm incendiary rocket launcher that holds four rockets, and can fire all four of those rockets at the same time.