US 3162088 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 22, 1964 s. LANDSTROM 3,162,088
MISSILE LAUNCHING SYSTEM Filed 001,. 22. 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. I ,5
IN VENTOR SVEIV LANDSTROM 2i F164 Y BY Q/EW ATTORNEYS Dec. 22, 1964 s LANDSTROM 3,162,088
MISSILE LAUNCHING SYSTEM Filed Oct. 22, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR .52 51 5 LANDS L m m m A handled by conventional methods.
United States Patent 3,162,088 MHSSELE LAUNCHHJQ SYSTEM Sven Landstrorn, Stockholm, Sweden, assignor to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy Filed Get. 22, 1958, Ser. No. 769,tl45
4 Claims. (Cl. 89-1.?)
(Granted under Title 35, US. Code (1952), see. 266) The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes Without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
This invention relates to a system and method for launching guided missiles and more particularly to a system and method of launching guided missiles from a land base. Present day experience with guided missile warfare has demonstrated that previous handling and launching methods used with conventional armament are no longer feasible. The. guided missiles are frequently of such a size and weight that they cannot be conveniently Likewise the complexity and delicacy of the missiles themselves preclude the use 'of. ponderous insensitive moving and handling equipment which might be suggested by the size and weight of the missiles.
Another consideration which cannot be overlooked in the design of a practical launching system is the expense that can be sustained in constructing suit-able installations and locating them at strategic points in an integrated detense network.
The present invention comprises a system and method of using the system for launching missiles which is simple, effective, safe and economical and which insures that a high fire rate of missiles can be sustained in the event of necessity. It should be understood, of course, that the instant invention, although described particularly as a system and method for launching missiles from a land base, discloses principles which can beadapted advantageously to either shipboard or air launching systems, and with many types of missiles.
One system of the prior art for launching guided ruissiles from a land base involves the use of a truck carried launcher. The missiles are moved to the launcher on dollies, the missiles arethen removed from the dollies and moved to a position underneath the launcher. The launcher is elevated to a vertical position and the missile is hoisted up onto the launcher rails. The launcher is then trained and depressed to fire the missile.
This prior system has the disadvantage of requiring intricate aligning equipment to place the missile in prope position to be hoisted to the launcher. Additionally, the hoisting equipment itself furnishes a further mechanical component susceptible of failure. Furthermore, to enable the system to launch a plurality of missiles at a sustained firing rate, the missiles must be loaded from a storagearea onto the dollies, the dollies must be rolled to the launching site, then the dollies must be unloaded, and the missiles must be handled to assure alignment and held in an aligned position while being hoisted to the launcher.
Each of these handling operations, and particularly the alignment of the missiles with the launcher, presents a serious problem because of the cumbersome mass of the missiles and the fact that the missiles are prone to be damaged by handling.
The system of the present invention, on the other hand, permits a continuous flow of guided missiles from a magazine to a launching apparatus with a minimum amount of hoisting and handling which would be likely to. cause a break in firing rate due to failure of a system component or damage to a missile.
Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a launching system which allows selectability of missiles according to desires as to War-head type, guidance system and propulsion means from a roundhouse magazine.
Another object of the invention is to provide a system for handling and launching large, long or medium range guided missiles, wherein the force of gravity is utilized to simplify and economize the ramming mechanism of the system.
A further object of the invention is to provide a complete launching system for either surface to air or surfiace to surface guided missiles adapted for single or salvo ring.
Still another object resides in the provision of a launching and magazining system which overcomes the shortcomings or" prior art fixed launching systems while providing substantially all the desirable tactical, functional and safety features of apparatus for this tofore or now in general use.
A still further object of the present invention is to'provide a highly effective system for the rapid tire of guided missiles which, due to its simplicity, is substantially immune from apparatus malfunctioning.
A further object of the instant invention is to provide a safe, simple and expeditious method of handling, storing and launching guided self-propelled missiles.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a missile launching system having a minimum number of moving parts.
Another object of the invention is to provide a system of theabove character which can be fabricated at a relatively economical cost.
As indicated hereinabove this invention relates to a launcher and magazine system and to methods of use thereof, and the particular structural or operational details of the components of the system shown are intended to be merely illustrative of means to carry out the necessary functions of an operative embodiment and are not to be construed as limitative in any respect.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to, the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompany drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of one-half of a complete launching system with the housing roof removed to show more clearly details of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the embodiment of FIG. 1, with parts shown in section and as viewed from.
a line substantially corresponding to the line 22 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 with parts shown in section and as viewed from a line substantiallycorresponding to the line 33 in Fig. 1, the launcher being illustrated as having been trained approximately in a clockwise direction;
H6. 4 is an enlarged vertical cross-section of view taken through a typical rammer cart and feeder rail which may be used with the invention;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged diagrammatic perspective view of one embodiment of launcher guide arm suitable for use with the invention. I
The complete system is enclosed in a generally ovalshaped housing 10 and comprises a pair of launching devices 13, centrally located and disposed at a lower level within roundhouse-like missile stowage areas or magazines. Adjacent each launching well or pit 27 and co i mon to both is a dud disposal area 24 which functions to facilitate the removal of dud missiles from either of the two launching areas for ultimate disposal external to the system. Except for the fact that the dud disposal area 2 is common to both launching pits 27, the system purpose here- 3 comprises two identical halves and for clarity only one half of the system will be explained, it being understood that an identical counterpart exists in the complete system.
In FIG. 1 substantially half of the complete launching system is shown with the roof of the oval housing 35. removed for the purpose of more clearly illustrating details of the invention. At each end of the oval housing there is located a roundhouse-like magazine or missile stowage area 17 which serves to store the ready missiles 43 preparatory to their being launched. Centrally of the magazine area 17, there is located a launching device 13 from which the missiles are ultimately launched. The missiles are stowed radially around the roundhouse magazine 17 with the warhead ends pointing toward the centrally disposed launcher 13. The outer wall of the housing 10 contains an access door 13 through which the missile components 41 and 42 are initially introduced into the system, and a dud removal door 26 through which any missile, found to be a dud, can be removed from the system for transportation to a remote dud disposal area (not shown). Under each ready missile 43 is positioned a feeder rail 39 which furnishes a support or bearing track on which the rammer cart 31 of the system may be propelled, as will be explained'rnore fully hereinafter. The'ready missiles 43 are shown stored in groups of three, however, this is not significant to the invention and a greater or lesser number may be adjacently stowed, depending upon the physical characteristics of the particular installation.
A number of partially assembled missiles 49 may be spaced around the roundhouse magazine, separating adjacent groups of ready missiles 43, to furnish a convenient supply of reserve missiles should an occasion of sustained firing arise. Around the periphery of the firing well or pit 27 and radially inwardly from the warhead ends of the radially stowed missiles are provided blast doors 21 which are slidably mounted between stanchions 20. The stanctions extend from the floor 28 of the magazine area to the roof thereof and, together with the inner wall 14 and outer wall 15 furnish the support for the roof 16 of the oval housing. The material from which the roof, walls, stanchions, abutments and doors are fabricated forms no part of this invention and may conveniently be reinforced concrete, or the like. It will be appreciated, of course, that the blast doors 21 are normally maintained in a closed position this being par ticularly necessary to protect the system when a missile is to be launched. The doors 21 may be opened when a missile is to be moved from the magazine area 17 to the launching rail 35, as will become more apparent as the description proceeds.
The missile components, which generally comprise a booster section 41 and a bird section 42, are introduced into the system through the access door 18 into the mating area 29 where they are assembled to form substantially complete missiles 43. Suitable checkout equipment 39 may be located within the area to furnish a convenient means for testing the components of the missiles be fore they are moved to their stowage positions within the roundhouse magazine 17. The missiles are moved about the interior of the roundhouse magazine 17 by means of an overhead trolley 19 which is best seen in FIG. 2, to their ultimate stowage positions in the magazine. Auxiliary hoists or winches (not shown) may be located in assembly area 29 to facilitate placing the missiles on the overhead trolley 19. The fin and tail elements may be affixed to the missile body either within the mating area 29 or when they are within the roundhouse magazine 17. Transportation of the missiles 43 within the system, after they are once stowed, is normally provided by means of a cart and rail assembly, to be described. The missiles are stowed directly above radially extending feeder rails 30 and are preferably positioned at a sufficient height above the feeder rail 30 to allow the rammer cart 31 to pass under the bird section 42 of the missile without frictional contact to a position under the booster section 41 where the cart surface engages the missile handling lugs as will become clearer as the description proceeds. The missiles 43 may be suspended from the trolley 19 or as is preferable, positioned on brackets 50 which are attached to inclined abutments 49, and are designed to engage the missile to hold it in proper inclined position above the feeder rail 30, as illustrated in FIG. 2. The stowed missiles may all be of the same type, as illustrated, or may be made up of different types of components. For example, different warhead or guidance components and/or different pro pulsion plant types may be stowed adjacently to each other or be grouped, as desired.
immediately adjacent the launching well 27 is located the dud removal area 24 which communicates through blast doors 23 with both launching wells of the complete system and which contains an inclined turntable 25 and additional missile handling equipment such as an overhead trolley 22 to facilitate turning the dud missiles and for removal thereof from the system through the dud removal door 26.
Referring now to FIG. 2, it will be observed that the launching well 27 is located substantially below the level of the missiles as they recline within the magazine area 17. Inclined abutments 49 are located within the magazine area 17 and mount missile supporting brackets St) on which the missiles are stowed. For the purpose of clarity, only the brackets farthest away from the observer have been illustrated. It should be understood, of course, that the brackets are spaced sufficiently to allow free passage of the rammer cart 31 therebetween. The particular design of the brackets is not important to the invention so long as they will support the missiles above the feeder rails 36 and may be released when desired. Any convenient bracket design may be employed, for example, the brackets 51) may comprise a piston in a pneumatic cylinder which is positioned at the desired height by air pressure. When the rammer cart engages the missile handling lugs the pressure may be released, as by a valve opened by the leading edge of the rammer cart 31.
Centrally located within the launching well 27 is a launcher 13 which may be any conventional bottom-rail launcher, except as hereinafter noted. The launcher may be trained in a conventional manner and elevated about trunnions 33 in response to firing or launching orders. Firing cutout cams may be utilized to assure a safe firing direction before a missile booster is detonated to launch amissile.
An extendable spanner rail 32 is telescoped in the launcher arm 35 to span or bridge the gap between the launcher arm and feeder rails 30. The spanner rail 32 is configured to abut with any selected feeder rail 30 to provide a continuous inclined track or path along which rammer cart 31 may travel to and from the launcher arm 35. A cart stop or shoulder 36 is provided appoximately mid-way of the launcher arm 35 to halt the carts travel and facilitate ramming the missile on the launcher rails 47, as will become more clear as the descriptions proceeds.
Due to the superposition of the stowed missiles with respect to the centrally disposed launcher 13, the rammer cart 31 may utilize the force of gravity in rolling down the continuous inclined track provided by feeder rails 30 and extendable spanner rail 32, to the launching rail 47 positioned on the launching arm 35. The rammer cart 31 and the dud cart 40, as will be more fully explained hereinafter, are preferably self-powered so that they may easily proceed up an inclined track as well as down under the influence of gravity.
In order to select a missile for launching, the launcher 13 is trained about to radial alignment with any selected missile in the magazine 17. The blast doors 21 are opened and the spanner rail 32 is extended to bridge the gap between feeder rail 30 of the selected missile and the launching arm 35 of the launcher. Rammer cart 31 is then driven up the inclined track, resulting from the extension of the spanner rail 32, to a position underneath the stowed missile, as shown in FIG. 2. The holding brackets 50 are released and the missile, carried by the cart, descends linearly along the extension track provided to a position against cart stop 36 on the launching arm 35. The force of gravity is utilized to a great extent to facilitate the ramming operation, however, should additional ramming be necessary an auxiliary ram may be provided on the launching device, as will be explained more fully hereinafter.
Referring to FIG. 3 it will be observed that the dud disposal area 24 is still lower in elevation than the missile mounted on the launching arm and there shown in dotted lines. An inclined turntable 25 may be mounted for rotation within the dud disposal area 24 to facilitate turning a missile prior to its removal from the system.
As is a desirable and conventional practice, the missile may be connected to an external source of electrical pow er, before firing, to warm up the electronic components, provide flight orders, arm the booster and the like. This 'may be accomplished by means of an electrical connector, commonly referred to as backscratcher, (not shown) of the launcher 13 is trained to alignment with the dud disposal area 24. The blast door 23 is opened, the extendable spanner rail 32 is extended to bridge the gap between the launcher arm and the tracks 12 provided on inclined turntableZS. A dud removal cart in which may be the same type as the rammer cart 31, to be described, is driven up the continuous rail formed by the extension of spanner rail 32, to a position abutting the cart stop 36 provided on the launcher arm. The missile is rammed from the launcher arm to the dud removal cart by means of an auxiliary ramming device i5, later to be described, and the cart is suitably propelled as by the force of gravity, down the inclined track to the inclined turntable whence it is rotated to a suitable position to engage an overhead trolley 22 or other means for subsequent removal through dud center line of the missile. For such a lug arrangement the upper surface of the rammer or dud cart is provided with complementary keyways to receive the lugs. Suitable latches 34- are attached to the cart to engage the missile handling lugs 37 to retain the missile securely on the cart during transit. These latches, illustrated as being L-shaped, may be of any convenient type so long as they may be closed securely to hold the missile fast to the cart while the cart is in transit and may be provided with an adjacent groove 3 3a to receive the latch lower end when it is tripped to release the missile lug so that the missile may slide from the cart when desired.
In FIG. 5 is illustrated a suitable configuration of the launcher guide arm 35 which carries interiorly thereof the telescope spanner rail 32 and an actuator, illustrated as a hydraulic cylinder 44, which is suitably connected 'to a source of hydraulic fluid under pressure (not shown). A cart stop or abutting shoulder 36 is provided on a launcher guide arm 35 to limit travel of rammer cart 31 during its ramming travel. Within the spanner rail; 32 are positioned a pair of tapered latch tripping cams 48 which oooperate, when the spanner rail is extended, with the L- shaped latches 34, carried by the rammer cart, to cause the latches to be pivoted out of the engaged position to allow the missile to slide. Latch tripping came 48 engage latches 34 just prior to the rammer carts impact against car stop 36 on the ramming stroke. With the latches tripped, the missile is free to slide as the cart is abruptly stopped, and, due to its inertia or otherwise, the missile rams itself from the rammer cart 31 onto the launcher rails 47. As store-mentioned, auxiliary r-ammer means may be provided on the launcher arm to complete the ramming, if necessary, and to unload dud missiles. Ramming pin or detent is provided for reciprocal movement within the center slot of the launching rails for en gagement with the after missile handling lug 37 to move the missile longitudinally on the launcher rails. The rammer detent 45 is actuated by hydraulic fluid in actuator cylinder 46 and is rotatably movable to clear the launching track and allow free passage of the after missile handling lug 37 when desired. Suitable latches, not shown, are preferably provided on the launcher rail to securely hold the missile during arming of the missile and movement of the launcher guide arm in train and elevation.
removal door 26 to a deactivation station exterior to and remote from the launching system. In order to hoist the missile from its position on the surface of inclined turntable 25 to overhead trolley 22 any suitable lifting means may be employed, for example the turntable itself may be provided with a conventional hydraulic lift if desired.
Referring now to FIG. 4 a one embodiment of a selfpowered cart for use with the system is illustrated. The cart illustrated is designated as a r-ammer cart however, it should be appreciated that the dud cart 4% may be of like construction. As shown the cart wheels run along the interior surfaces of the rails of the system, illustrated as being the feeder rails 30. It should be understood that the extendable spanner rail and dud removal rail are of the like cross-sectional configuration to allow free movement of the cart about the system. As mentioned here inabove, the cart may be self-powered and, in the illustration, an electric motor 38 is provided to drive the wheels of the vehicle. It should be understood that any suitable power means may be employed and the particular cart construction, in itself, form no part of the instant invention.
i As is normally the case with large guided missiles, particularly of the multistage variety, several missile handling lugs or dogs 37 are aflixed to the booster casing 41. As is the usual arrangement, the forward lugs extend inwardly in clamp-like fashion, while the after missile handling lug is normally T-shaped and depends from the bottom surface of the booster on the longitudinal When the missile is positioned on the launcher rails 47, the rammer cart is retracted to an empty feeder rail. for stowage, the blast doors 21 are closed and the missile is launched by detonation of the booster.
When the missile is clear of the launcher, the latter is depressed to load position, the blast door 21 is opened, the extension rail is extended and the rammer cart 31 is retrieved from stowage to repeat the cycle.
Reference has been made hereinabove to retracting the rammer cart to stowage while the missile is fired. Agm'n here, it is intended to be within the inventive scope of the disclosure that other expedients obvious to those skilled in the art may be incorporated herein. For example, a plurality of carts may be provided so that each ready missile 43 may be stowed on its individual rammer cart or, as a further alternative, the cart 31 may advantageously be carried by the launcher guide arm if desired.
Obviously many modifications and variations are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood, that Within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed is: t
1. A launching system for guided missiles comprising:
a horizontal substantially circular annular missile stowage area;
a missile launching device movable in azimuth and elevation located at. the center of the annulus and slightly below said stowage area;
a plurality of missile support means spaced throughout 1 said stowage area and extending radially from said launching device, said support means being inclined downwardly toward said launching device;
rail means extendable from said launching device to bridge the gap between said launching device and selected ones of said missile support means with which said launching device may be brought into alignment; and
transport means movable along said support means and said rail means for transporting a missile from said stowagearea to said launching device;
whereby a missile may be loaded onto said launching device solely by the gravity-powered movement of said transport means for said inclined support means onto said launching device.
2. A launching system as in claim 1 having dud missile removal means operatively associated therewith comprismg:
second support means inclined upwardly toward said launching device and located on a level below said launching device;
said rail means being further eXtenda-ble to and aligna'ble with said second support means; and
second transport means movable along said second support means and said rail means for transporting a dud missile from said launching device to said second support means;
8 whereby a dud missile may be removed from said launching device by the gravity-powered movement of said second transport means along said rail means and said second support means.
3. A launching system as in claim 1 wherein said transport means comprises Wheeled cart means adapted to roll along said missile support means and said rail means.
4. A launching system as in claim 2 wherein said second transport means comprises second wheeled cart means adapted to roll along said rail means and said second support means.
vReferences Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,925,442 9/33 Fournier 214--16.1 2,735,391 2/56 Buschers 89l.7 2,745,317 5/56 Stanton et a1 8946 2,984,157 5/ 61 Johnstone 89l.7 2,985,072 5/61 Canlberg et al. 89l.7 3,048,087 8/62 Campbell 89--1.7
BENJAMIN A. BORCHELT, Primary Examiner.
SAMUEL W. ENGLE, Examiner.