Terrain Contour Matching, or TERCOM, is a navigation system used primarily by cruise missiles. It uses a pre-recorded contour map of the terrain that is compared to measurements made during flight by an on-board radar altimeter. A TERCOM system considerably increases the accuracy of a missile compared to inertial navigation systems (INS). The increased accuracy allows a TERCOM-equipped missile to fly closer to obstacles and generally lower altitudes, making it harder to detect by ground radar.

Read more about TERCOMDescription, Missiles That Employ TERCOM Navigation, See Also

Other articles related to "tercom":

Missile Guidance - GOLIS Systems - Terrestrial Guidance
... TERCOM, for "terrain contour matching", uses altitude maps of the strip of land from the launch site to the target, and compares them with information from a radar altimeter on board ... More sophisticated TERCOM systems allow the missile to fly a complex route over a full 3D map, instead of flying directly to the target ... TERCOM is the typical system for cruise missile guidance, but is being supplanted by GPS systems and by DSMAC, Digital Scene-Matching Area Correlator, which employs a camera ...
DH-10 - Cruise Missile Guidance
... (INS), global positioning system (GPS), and terrain comparison (TERCOM) ... information to use terrain comparison (TERCOM) guidance ... But TERCOM would probably be relatively ineffective in areas such as the South China Sea, which present few navigational reference points ...