Basically cruise missile resembles a small, pilotless aircraft. It does exactly what its name intended, can cruises over plain land, sea, desert, hilly terrain in all-weather situation. During World War-II the Nazis used the V1 cruise missile to hit enemy targets first ever in the history. Cruise Missile technology being constantly upgraded since then as this proves as a very effective and successful weapons platform without risking operator’s life.
Cruise missiles are either subsonic or supersonic depending on their propulsion and design.
U.S. military's BGM-109 Tomahawk is the most popular cruise missile across the world. Russians developed a variety of cruise missiles like Kh-35, P-15 KN-1, Kalibr LACM and many more.
There are mainly 2 types of cruise missiles. Land attack missiles-LACM and Anti-ship missiles-AShM.
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