The fire arrow was invented by the chinese in the early 11th century. These fire arrows were quite similar to the fireworks in use today.

Fire Arrows were usually launched from cylinders or boxes, and typically had a range of 350 metres. The concept was pretty much like a rocket propelled arrow with poison-coated heads. Sometimes the head was filled with explosives so that the fire arrow would be more destructive, but these explosives made the fire arrow very unpredictable. Although very primitive, these Fire Arrows are considered as the first true rockets.

The fire arrow led to the mongolian invention of what may be the first grenade-like weapon. The use of gunpowder spread, and within the 16th century, rocket-like weapons were in use in Europe.