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Publication numberUS3865009 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 11, 1975
Filing dateSep 13, 1973
Priority dateSep 13, 1973
Publication numberUS 3865009 A, US 3865009A, US-A-3865009, US3865009 A, US3865009A
InventorsKongelbeck Sverre
Original AssigneeUs Navy
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Launcher mount
US 3865009 A
Invention is a launcher mount for a plurality of a box-like missile cells mounted in replaceable clusters on each side of a compact turret. Cluster assemblies suitable for missile configurations of different types, sizes and weights may be quickly and simply mounted on and detached from the turret. The turret includes the azimuth and elevation drive and control mechanisms. These are externally mounted on the turret in easily accessible locations and are completely enclosed for protecting the functional components thereof. The launcher may be slewed in azimuth and elevation at fast rates so that missiles in the cells may be fired along a preferred trajectory at desired intervals. Individual cells are water and gas tight for protecting missiles therein from rocket blast effects and from adverse climatic conditions. When mounted on shipboard, the entire launcher may be positioned above deck in any desired location.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 1' Feb. 11, 1975 LAUNCHER MOUNT [75] Inventor: Sverre Kongelbeck, Silver Spring,

[73] Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy, Washington, DC.

[22] Filed: Sept. 13, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 396,908

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1963 Biermann et al. 89/1815 8/1968 Faisander 8/1973 Rusbach Cords 89/1 .815

Primary Examiner-Robert F. Stahl [57] ABSTRACT Invention is a launcher mount for a plurality of a boxlike missile cells mounted in replaceable clusters on each side of a compact turret. Cluster assemblies suitable for missile configurations of different types, sizes and weights may be quickly and simply mounted on and detached from the turret. The turret includes the azimuth and elevation drive and control mechanisms. These are externally mounted on the turret in easily accessible locations and are completely enclosed for protecting the functional components thereof. The launcher may be slewed in azimuth and elevation at fast rates so that missiles in the cells may be fired along a preferred trajectory at desired intervals. lndividual cells are water and gas tight for protecting missiles therein from rocket blast effects and from adverse climatic conditions. When mounted on shipboard, the entire launcher may be positioned above deck in any desired location.

6 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATEHTED FEB! 1 i975 SHEET 3 BF 8 PATENTEDFEBI H915 3.865.009

SHEET u 0F 8 FIG. 5


FIG. 7

'PATEHTED 7 7 3.865009 sum 70F 8 LAUNCHER MOUNT BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to launcher mounts for aerial missiles. More particularly, it relates to an improved turret-type mount for a multiple cell missile launcher.

In presently existing turret-type missile launcher mounts of major importance to the U.S. Navy the power drives for moving the mounts in azimuth and elevation are mounted within and/or directly below the turret structures in a variety of ways which hinder or prevent direct access thereto for inspection, maintenance and repairs. The turrets for several well-known box launchers, such as the Mark 11, Mark I3 and the Mark 26 magazine type GMLS (guided missile launching system) are typical examples. As will be obvious, with such launchers inspection and preventive maintenance cannot be adequately performed aboard ship and when repairs or replacement of major components is required, the ship must go to a shipyard capable of performing such repairs or replacements and the turrets dismantled, removed from the ship and taken to the appropriate facility.

One object of the present invention is to provide a turret-type launcher mount wherein the power drives are located outside of the turret structure. More specifically, the power drives are mounted opposite each other on the outside of the turret, each of said power drives being a complete compact independent unit. Access to the components of the power drives, which are mounted in housings, is readily obtainable by removing individual structural panels that are secured to said housings, one or both of the power drives being readily removable from the turret for repair or replacement.

Another important advantage that is achieved by the launcher mount structure of the present invention is a considerable reduction of the moment of inertia about the azimuth drive axis, with an attendant substantial reduction of the peak power requirement for the azimuth drive unit. This advantage is of particular importance for turret mounts supporting a large number of box launcher cells where the moments of inertia become very much greater than, for example, for dual rail turret launcher mounts which only carry a miximum of two missiles.

To emphasize the importance of the above advantage, it should be understood that, in prior art turrets for dual rail launchers such as, for example, the MK 1 1 Guided Missile Launching System, the azimuth and elevation power drive units are contained within the central turret structure where they are tightly compacted and placed as close as possible to the azimuth rotation axis for the purpose of achieving the maximum possible reduction in the moment of inertia around this axis. The power drive units are both large in size and heavy in weight and, in order to contain them within the turret structure, the width of said structure has to be made much greater than for the power drive units used in the present invention. While the azimuth moment of inertia of the turret itself will be somewhat greater with the power drives of the present invention, the width of the turret structure can be kept to the absolute minimum, dictated only by the width of the two housings containing the power drives. Consequently the two very heavy missile containing multi-cell clusters can be located considerably closer to the azimuth axis, This will result in a very substantial reduction in the part of the azimuth moment of inertia represented by the heavy masses of the cell clusters compared with the minor increase caused by locating the much lighter power drive units a small amount farther from the axis than if they were placed within the turret structure.

Thus, if the invention were also used as a dual rail turret launcher, outside-of-the-turret placement of the power drives may result in a slight increase in azimuth moment of inertia but this is an insignificant drawback compared with the major advantages gained by having ready access to the power drives. For Naval missile launchers it is highly desirable to utilize existing standard U.S. Navy qualified power drives and in order to obtain the fastest possible slewing rate the largest drives available will be selected to handle the massive loads constituted by large, multi-cell clusters. For that reason it becomes very important that efforts be made to reduce the azimuth moment of inertiato the absolute minimum.

While it is recognized that with dual rail (rather than multi-cell cluster) launcher mounts, the novel feature of placing the power drives outside the turret itself will result in a slight increase in azimuth moments of inertia, such increase will not be to an extent that it will significantly affect the slewing rate of the mount because the resulting azimuth moment of inertia will be well within the capacity of the power drive and will be outweighed by the advantage of having the power drive readily accessible for servicing and repair. Thus, the present invention becomes very attractive also for launchers of the dual rail configuration besides for those of the multi-cell cluster type.

The invention incorporates another novel design improvement for the specific and logistically important purpose of permitting the accommodation of several types of missiles in any desired mixture, the launcher mount, by the use of saddle-type mounting structures for the clusters of box-like launcher cells and a unique arrangement of electrical and fluid connections, being convertible to handle any and all of the different types of missiles in present and future Navel arsenals. The missile clusters are equipped with appropriate electrical systems for the types of missiles therein, so that the only change necessary will be to connect the electrical harnesses on the turret to a proper control console. This design improvement makes if unnecessary to make any changes within the turret when shifting from one assortment of cell clusters to another.

As another object, the invention provides a launcher mount which permits either reloading of missiles thereon aboard ship by ramming them into their assigned cluster cells, or an entire cluster may be removed from the mount and quickly replaced by a fully loaded one. As will be evident, the design of the mount permits the accommodation of a relatively large number of missiles, of the type represented by the presently known Standard missile family, a larger number of smaller missiles or a relatively small number of larger and heavier missiles.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective showing the missile launcher mount constituting the present invention, one of the launcher cell clusters being broken away to permit illustration of the mounting shaft and the housing for the azimuth drive mechanism;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the launcher mount with one of the missile cluster boxes removed;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing one of the missile cluster boxes with its frame or saddle part and with its cell selector and control boxes in place;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the mount, certain parts being shown in elevation;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged detail section illustrating particularly the bull gear drive and main brake mechanisms;

FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective showing particularly the relationship of the parts of the mechanisms for driving the clusters in azimuth or elevation;

FIG. 7 is an end view, with covers removed, showing particularly the mechanism for moving the missile cell clusters in azimuth;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 4, but showing the mechanism for moving the missile cell clusters in elevation;

FIG. 9 is a top plan view, partially in section, showing details of the elevation drive mechanism;

FIG. 10 is a detail section showing the brake band, actuator and drum of the main brake mechanism;

and FIG. 11 is a diagrammatic view showing typical control consoles, their connections to the missile cluster control boxes, and connections from the missile selector boxes to the missile cells.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION With reference to the drawings in more detail, and first to FIGS. 1 and 2 thereof, the launcher mount constituting the present invention comprises a turret 10 which has a base 11, a casing 12 and a support 13 secured to the upper end of the casing. The support is cylindrical and is reduced in diameter near its upper end to form a seat for a train bull gear 14. On its outer surface near the reduced portion the support is provided with an outwardly projecting flange 15 which cooperates with an upper retaining ring 16 to define a race for an upper bearing 17. The flange 15 and a lower retaining ring 18 provide a race for a lower bearing 19. Mounted on the support is a brake mechanism 20 which will be described in more detail hereinafter.

The support 13 is open at its upper and lower ends to receive a body 22 which mounts the missile launcher cell clusters and the train and elevation drive mechanisms therefor. More specifically, the body 22 includes inner and outer body members 23 and 24, the outer member having a brake drum 25 thereon and having an integral sleeve 26 that extends axially into the casing 12 and supports the movable part 27 ofa conventional slip ring assembly 28. The fixed part 29 of the slip ring assembly, in which the movable part 27 rotates, is secured to the lower rim of the casing near the base 11 of the turret 10 by suitable braces 30.

The missile launcher cell clusters are shown at 32 and 34 in FIG. 1, each said cluster comprising nine cells arranged in rows in a rectangular container. In use, mis' siles are launched from the cells by apparatus of the type shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,742,813, dated July 3, I973, S. Kongelbeck, Inventor, assigned to the United States Government. The clusters 32 and 34 are mounted in two-part rectangular frames or saddles 35 and 36, respectively, secured to each end of a hollow elevation shaft 37 that is mounted for rocking motion on the body by bearings 38, mounting plates 39 (FIG. 6) being used for securing the frame parts to the shaft. In more detail, the two-part frames or saddles each consist of L-shape members bolted together, one secured to the shaft 39 and the other to the cluster. This construction makes it possible to disconnect the members and, by means of a hoist, lift a cluster from the mount and substitute another for it. Secured to the elevation shaft medially of its length is a sector gear 40. The sector gear 40 is best seen in FIGS. 6, 8 and 9 and meshes with a drive pinion 41 which forms a part of the elevation drive mechanism now to be described.

The elevation drive mechanism is shown generally at 42 and is mounted in a housing 43 that is secured to the body 22. The housing comprises upper and lower compartments 44 and 45 separated by a partition 46. As best seen in FIGS. 6 and 8, an electric motor 47 is mounted in the compartment 45 and is coupled to a power transmission gearbox 48 that is secured to the underside of the housing 43. The gearbox 48 consists of three gears meshing in a one-to-one relationship. The output shaft of the gearbox is coupled to a hydraulic drive unit 49 which, with its regulator-receiver and auxiliary relief valve assembly, is of known construction. The output shaft of the hydraulic drive unit 49 is coupled to a right-angle drive unit 50 which, in turn, is coupled to a gear reducer 51 having a power-off brake 52, the gear reducer and power-off brake also being of known construction. The gear reducer output gear meshes with a drive gear 53 which is mounted on the same shaft as the pinion 41 and drives said pinion.

As will be understood from the foregoing description, energization of the motor, as by the application of power from a source under the control of an operator, located at a console in a Combat Information Center or a console 76 under control of the Captain, will cause the shaft 37 to move the clusters in elevation.

The launcher mount is moved in train (azimuth) by train drive mechanism 54 that is best shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 7. The train drive mechanism includes a housing 55 which has upper and lower compartments 56 and 57 separated by a partition 58. Mounted in the lower compartment 57 on a suitable bracket is an electric motor 60 which is similar to the motor 47. The motor 60 is operatively connected to a hydraulic drive unit 61 through a power transmission gearbox 62, mounted on the underside of the compartment 57, and the drive unit 61 is connected to the train bull gear 14 through an overload clutch 63, a gear reducer 64 and a gear train 65, the gear train including a drive pinion 66. The gear reducer 64 and clutch 63 are of known construction, the gear reducer being identical with the gear reducer 51 and the clutch being a commercial product. Like the gear reducer 51 the gear reducer 64 includes a power-off brake, indicated at 67.

Referring again to the brake mechanism 20 for the bull gear 14, said mechanism comprises a brake band 68 which surrounds the brake drum 25 and engages said drum when contracted by an actuator 69 (FIG. 10). The brake will be automatically applied to prevent a sudden rapid rotation of the turret should inadvertent rocket ignition occur in a restrained missile.

In the interest of simplicity no effort has been made to show and describe all of the electrical and hydraulic connections. However, the launcher mount will incorporate provision for transfer of electrical power and signals, air and fluids from the launcher consoles 75 and 76 and the ships supply to the power drives and the cell clusters through slip rings and rotating joints in the azimuth axis and by means of flexible cables and hoses in the elevation axis. A typical control system is shown in FIG. 11.

Output ends of power, air and fluid lines will be terminated at an easily accessible junction point located on each of the two cluster saddles or frames. Missile and cell electrical control signals, after passing through the slip rings and flexible lines, will also be terminated at these same points.

More specifically, by means of switching units mounted on each of the two cell clusters, it will only be necessary to run 4 complete cell and missile electrical harnesses to the launcher, each containing about 60 conductors. The switching units are remotely controlled so as to enable the operator to communicate with all l8 cells in any desired sequence by means of any one of the 4 harnesses. An existing slipring design of 400 sliprings presently used on the Mk 1 l GMLS can be employed.

With this arrangement there is no need for changing anything within the turret itself if a change is made from one assortment of cell clusters to another. The only requirements will be to disconnect the cell cluster cables and fluid lines from the cluster support junction points, remove the cell cluster from the support saddle, install another cluster in the mounting saddle and connect its cables and lines at the junction boxes. The only time when a change in the system external to the launcher would be required is when cell clusters for one type of missile are replaced with clusters for a different missile. When this occurs the turret electrical harness in the Missile Control Station will be connected to a different control console, appropriate for the missiles in the clusters on the launcher.

In the embodiment shown, the mount is designed to handle two cell clusters of up to 9 missiles each that are similar to or slightly different from the configuration, size and weight represented by missiles of the Standard" missile family. The mount can also accommodate clusters of larger and heavier missiles in proportionately smaller numbers or smaller missiles in larger numbers. With appropriately designed and constructed cell clusters a mixture of missile types, i.e., AAM, ASM, SSM can be accommodated. I

The cell clusters will be made as unit structures with each cell completely enclosed and environmentally protected. The cells will be equipped with launcher rails and appropriate launcher-to-missile interface mechanisms and electrical wiring systems for the missile type being accommodated, as described in hereinabove mentioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,742,813. Individual cell air conditioning, heating and cooling will be provided as well as internal shock and vibration isolation suspension for the missile where required. The selfcontained cell concept makes it possible to fire any one missile in the cluster without detriment to the function of the other cells or the missiles therein or the exposure of the other missiles to adverse and damaging blast effects.

The multi-cell turret type box launcher mount described herein is extremely versatile in its application to installations on many types of ships ranging in size from small Destroyers to Aircraft Carriers. Because the mount is located entirely above deck it can be installed with a wide freedom of choice as to its location aboard ship.

Depending upon the type of ship and the selected location for the mount, ship structure modifications may be unnecessary or at most consist of local strengthing of the deck structure at the mounts location.

The launcher mount can contain any suitable number of cells according to size and type of missile, the size and type of the ship and the space available. For exam ple, cell clusters can be provided for a complement of 6, 8, l2 or 18 missiles of the Standard" size and weight, and all of these mounted on the same turret.

The launcher mount can be installed on either a permanent or temporary basis to serve a variety of purposes:

a. As a permanent augmentary guided missile launching system to increase the fire power to ships which are equipped with magazine type launchers or as a quickly installed temporary missile launcher for these ships when assigned to carry out special missions in waters where an increase in fire power is an imperative requirement.

b. As the primary guided missile launching system on ships which presently are not equipped with surface-toair missile systems.

c. As shore-based mobile or fixed emplacements. Fire control may be exercised by remote control from off-shore destroyers.

d. The compactness of the cells offers a nearly unlimited variety of applications for several types of missiles, ASROC, HARPOON, or TARTAR configurations.

The modular construction employed in this turret launcher mount concepts provides for versatility in shipment and handling for the initial installation and for subsequent parts repair or replacement if required. The turret and the cell clusters can be shipped as individual units and the turret separately installed aboard ship with the clusters mated after the turret installation is complete. As all parts of the drive mechanisms are readily accessible on the turret, repair or replacement of major components of these mechanisms are possible even under at-sea conditions. The readily demountable cluster assemblies provide an option for loading of individual cells with the cluster affixed to the turret or replacement of an empty cluster with another fully loaded cluster in cases where such a procedure is logistically desirable.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for launching projectiles, comprising:

a stationary central housing;

support means movably surmounting the central housing;

a shaft mounted on the support means, the longitudinal axis of the shaft being perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the central housing;

mounting means disposed one each on each end of the shaft;

projectile holding means held by each of the mounting means;

first and second auxiliary housings fixed to the support means, one each on opposite sides thereof and disposed externally of the support means, a line joining the housings being perpendicular to the iongitudinal axis of the shaft; azimuth control means in the first housing for rotating the support means in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the central housing; and,

elevation control means in the second housing for rotating the shaft to move the projectile holding means in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the shaft.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the azimuth control means is disposed substantially within the first housing and comprises;

power means;

gear means fixed to the support means; and,

power transmission means connecting the power means and the gear means.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 and further comprising a sector gear on the shaft, and wherein the elevation control means is disposed substantially within the second housing and comprises power means, a power transmission gearbox connected to the power means, a gear reducer connected to the gearbox, and, a pinion driven by the gear reducer and meshing with the sector gear.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 and further comprising a brake mechanism for preventing rapid rotation of the support means, comprising:

an annular brake drum fixedly mounted to the support means;

an annular brake band surrounding the brake drum and spaced therefrom to allow rotation of the drum and the support means to which the drum is mounted; and,

actuating means for contracting the brake band to engage said band with the brake drum to restrain rotation of the support means.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein each mounting means comprises a substantially rectangular collar mounted to one end of the shaft, the collar comprising two L-shaped portions, one of which portions being directly mounted to the shaft, the ends of the other of said portions connecting to the ends of the firstmentioned portion to hold and mount the projectile holding means.

6. The apparatus of claim 1 and further comprising means located at a point remote from said apparatus for controlling movement thereof in azimuth and elevation and for firing projectiles therefrom.

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US3766829 *Oct 4, 1971Oct 23, 1973Hughes Aircraft CoModular airborne launcher
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4305325 *Oct 31, 1979Dec 15, 1981The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyGeneral purpose decoy launcher
US4470336 *Aug 5, 1982Sep 11, 1984General Dynamics, Pomona DivisionArmored missile launch/shipping container
US4711151 *Jan 23, 1986Dec 8, 1987Frazer-Nash Ltd.Missile launcher
US5020412 *Jun 19, 1989Jun 4, 1991The Secretary Of State For Defence In Her Britannic Majesty's Government Of The United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern IrelandMissile launcher
US5452640 *May 6, 1993Sep 26, 1995Fmc CorporationMultipurpose launcher and controls
US5942713 *Feb 6, 1998Aug 24, 1999Lockheed Martin Corp.High missile packing density launching system
US6125734 *Oct 14, 1998Oct 3, 2000The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyMulti-warfare area launcher
US6584881Mar 26, 2001Jul 1, 2003United Defense LpMulti-purpose missile launcher system for a military land vehicle
US6691600Dec 11, 2002Feb 17, 2004United Defense, L.P.Multi-purpose missile launcher system for a military land vehicle
US6742433 *Oct 12, 2001Jun 1, 2004Raytheon CompanyLauncher platform
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EP1400773A2 *Sep 13, 2003Mar 24, 2004Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KGDevice for adapting a multiple-rocket container to an artillery rocket launcher
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U.S. Classification89/1.815, 89/1.819, 89/41.14
International ClassificationF41F3/00, F41A27/06, F41F3/04, F41A27/00
Cooperative ClassificationF41A27/06, F41F3/04
European ClassificationF41A27/06, F41F3/04