Pershing Rockets for Europe

download Pershing Rockets for Europe

of 3

  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)


"Pershing Rockets for Europe" (PDF). Interavia. July 1961.

Transcript of Pershing Rockets for Europe

  • Pershing Rockets for Europe

    " T h e ina ail Deterrent" was the title r c gave to an article in 1NTERAVIA 3j1961 dealing with the trend in Ainerican strategy towards creating a complete arsenal of guided nuclear missiles. i'rom the two-stage Persllit~g rockets, with a rangs of a few hurldred miles, to the smallest one-m:iii iiifantry weapons equipped with atomic \\as- heads. Now that developnlent of the Persllii~:~ i h i~carly corr~pleted, and units of both the U.S. Arnly in Gerniany and the West German Land Forces are to be arnlcd with this missile. n.c should like to give our readers a more esact picture of the most modern tactical medium-range rocket at present available to the West.

    Among the most inlportant tasks of the Pershing is to attack enemy long-range weapons and concentrations behind the battle area and. nit11 a range of over 300 miles, the Pei~s/7iirCq in F,ict comma~lds an area of nearly 300,000 Since th.e rocket can be put into action in ally desired position within a nlatter of minutes, a few Pt, units can deal quickly, effectively, and decisively with critical battle situations. In its ii~::in features ---robust construction, a high degree of ~ilobility, and co~nplete air-trans- i~i7rtability -the Perslliizg compares very favour- with its predecessor, the Reu'slorze. The corn- ipiete weapon system, including all ground support equipment, can operate on any terrain n::d. to a large extent, avoid detection by the c-emy.

    When. in 1956, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff ~!e:ided that a new, mobile arniy rocket in the

    The Pers l~ i~ ig ~.ocket ,w~th cable mast ~3luggeii in. stailcis j~oised on i t s la~ulchinp riiig, 4 de- tailed descripiioii of' the crec- tion and la~mchinp procedure \\ill be fouiid 011 the ibilo\\.ii~g page.

    300-inile c l a ~ s n ~ ~ i j t he dc\ eloped. their speciti- cariori cailcii Ear a surface-to-surface tactical n~issilc \\it11 c!~ar.:;ctci.istic.s hitherto unknown in a11 :lr~?i:~ rocket. , ~ i c ! ~ c\tei~si\ e ! i i i i~i : t t~~rizat io~~ oi' the g!!id;~iic< >!. -T>::;I. ssii~iztiorl ro a fs\v minutes of the tiii:e i-c.y!!i:-eii to pi.cpure the I-ocltet for I I ~ ! i 1 1 i t 1 in pre-flight checkout, and so oil. I r i 1'15a. tlit iSrlando Division of the Mar- tin Corn;?'~n> i i i Florida was given the develop- insilt ccntrnct and. b> February 1960, barely two years later. the first Pei,.rhitlg trial projectile was fired at Cape Canaveral. As early as Septeniber, 1960. the Ordnance Guided Missile School, a t Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville (Alabama), in- augui.nted a course in operating the Pershirrg.


    As stressed at the outset, the main objects in the creation of the Pershirzg were a complete weapon systelll with a high degree of mobility and very brief total reaction time. The Perslzii~g'.~ great mobility is achieved by use of a new spe- cially developed wheeled vehicle, known as a transporter-erector-launcher (TEL). This is so dcsigned that the rocket can be quickly erected, aligned with the target, and fired. This mobile TEL, and all the rest of the ground support equipment, can be nioullted on tracked vehicles suitable for cross-country operation. The Pei.shitlg convoy can travel about anywhere in the battle area, making it very difficult for the enemy to detect the launch position; on the other hand, it call go into firing position within a few rninut and send the rocket on its way, before enen

  • supported on the transporter chassis. The launch- ing platform is mounted at the rear of the trans- porter and is pivoted so that it can be rotated t o the ground, where it is supported by levelliilg jacks. During transport, the missile is carried in a horizontal position on the erector, which is also pivoted at the rear of the transporter. At the firing site, after the launch pad is rotated to the ground and levelled, the erector rises to the vertical position, placing the missile on the launcher. The erector then returns to the horizon- tal position, leaving the nlissile resting in a vertical position on the azimuth ring of the launcher. Under command of the fire control ~lni t , the azimuth position of the missile is accurately adjusted before firing.

    Co~itrol cables, air ducts, and high pressure air lines necessary to precondition, checkout, and fire the missile are mounted in a cable mast. The lower end of the cable mast is mounted in a

    i ,. . . . - '. .!,,).-\ ..I . .,& C - L . : v C ' L ~ i i ; ~ \ e r ~ ~ l n ~ i i ~ i l e range. . . . The rocket ready for the road on the XM-474 transporter.

    I I - i t I 1 . e 1 a TEL vehicle. The same vehicle can be used to chance to csi,i5iibi~ jrs ~ L ~ ~ L : I J I I transport it by helicopter, air freighter, or sea-

    ,. . . Tliai~ks ti. ~.-.l:iti\- sir:ii?lifii.d, Duril;g I:-.. \.\l~ol: opera- Dix ision of Thonipson Rarn~-\~~.ooldridgc Inc. of tive r2hase. the rocker sei i i : i i~~~ L..- ti:? I-nlieei CI-\cl:ili;i. Ohio. includes a dunl-track erector

    Normally, the Prrsh i~ ig is not transported with its warhead attached. The warhead itself is in the container in the left fore- ground, and \\ill be transported on a separate tracked vehicle, to- gether with its associated test equipment.

    rn t r ans~ t , the ~iiflatable pa rabo l~c . antennd and the fo ld~ng telescop~c

    dntenila supports are sto\ved In the top of the radio unlt.

    bracket attached to the launcher aziniuth ring, and the upper end is engaged with electrical and air connections in the missile. During the firing procedure: just prior to ignition, the upper end of the cable mast is autotnatically ejected from cngagement with the missile. While the upper end of the niast is ejected from the missile sufficiently far to provide clearance for firing, a brake in the bracket at the lower. end quickly stops movement of the mast and holds it in a near vertical position. Since the mast is prevented from falling to the ground. it is not damaged and may be used repeatedly as a permanent part of the TEL. The cable mast is so constructed that the exhaust gases do not destroy either the cable o r the mast.

    For movement both across country and on noruiial roads the Pershing rocket, resting on its TEL, is carried on a tracked vehicle, designated XM-474, built by the Food Machinery and Chemical Corp. This vehicle is a developn~ent of the MI 13 arnloured personnel carrier, under- taken on behalf of the U.S. Army Ordnance Tank Autoniotive Command. It features a low sil- houette and, with a gross weight cf about 5 toris, has a speed of up to 40 n1.p.h. on flat roads.

    The rocket is provided with a n inertial guidance system, comprising a gyro-stabilized platform and integrating accelerometers. The main con- tractor for this guidance system is the Eclipse- Pioneer Division of the Bendix Corporation at Teterboro, N.J., which also furnishes certain field checkout and production test equipment. With a view to illaximuin precision, the gyros of the stabilization platfor111 are sealed in minia- ture metal cylinders, friction being reduced to almost zero. These cylinders in their turn "float" inside an outer cylinder. Microscopic air jets in the outer cylinder "float" the gyros on a n air- cushion, in order to eliminate all direct contact between gyro and container.

  • The Pe~,shitlg has been developed almost en- tirely by American industry, that is without direct assistance from the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, which did no more than retain certain rights of supervision and advisory functions. This concep- tion is new, but the successful launchings of com- plete rockets with ignition of both stages (one trial launch from Cape Canaveral on April 21st, 1961, travelled over 250 miles) leave no doubt that this approach to the problem is the right one.

    It is not yet certain when the Per.siiit~~r i r I ! - - operational in Europe. Tn any event, the Feiicr,. German Government has ordered a large nurnbi.: of these rockets in place of the original Martin Mncrs, and Germany will shortly make avaiiahlr DM 480 million for Pershing.~, about the sanir amount as was originally appropriated for the purchase of iMnce rockets. Martin has nileanwhile gone ahead with the development of Pe~.shit~x and, early this year, received an additional S76 inillio~l order from the U.S. Ar~ny.

    T h e Pershing as a Satellite Booster Economy. reliability, and immediate availa- thus also saving weight. The nose casings sur-

    bility are undoubtedly qualities which could make rounding the third-stage engine and the payload a satellite carrier rocket look attractive for could also be jettisoned after leaving the atruo- European countries, too. If, moreover, the carrier sphere. The entire third stage rests on a turntable rocket could be launched from practically any for torque stabilization. The guidance and control desired meadow, this would take care of another systems could also be accommodated in the third problern, which has played a major part in dis- stage (see diagram). For launching. the TELs cussions concerning the basis of a European already developed for the military Pershing would space programme. be made use of, and these could also be mounted

    Martin is now offering a carrier vehicle, de- in seagoing vessels. veloped from the first and second stages of the According to information furnished by Martin,

    i o !:I< left: Sectio~lal drawing of the military P~rshirig military Pershing rocket, which fillfils the above- ten men are enough to bring the carrier rocket to ~ - , x h ? i : 1 - Nuclear warhead; 2 - Colltrol and guidance mentioned conditions, and could be available in the launch point, set it up, and prepare it for .5 , ~ ? r n : 3 - Sccond-stage rocket engine: 4 -Aerodynamic L;i,,iri,l iurfaces: - Separation elemetlt between first and the