I always thought cruise missile is most safest and assured way of destroying major enemy targets. But due to high cost, any country can afford limited numbers like few hundreds instead of many thousands except for US. We saw US using cruise missiles since gulf war, tomahawks target was planned before and with help of INS, GPS, TERCOM etc it was able to stay its altitude, flight route as planned. Would it possible for cruise missile be programmed to follow a particular flightpath, deliver the the warhead (warhead can glide towards the target with its terminal sensor) and missile then returns in a different flight path using evasive maneuvers (to avoid Gunfire, SAMs & Fighters) and recover it using parachute, like the Nishant RPV. if we can recover the missile avionics, airframe, engine and able to use it few times, costs can be drastically reduced. If costs can be reduced to match the operating costs of Stealth Fighter then it can be really successful. on a different note, how many instances are there when Cruise missiles have been intercepted and destroyed in their flight path? a stealthy low-flying cruise missile will be difficult challenge for any air defence.