Cruise missile air-launched Blue Steel




    management system:

    management software








    200 km.

    year development:


    cruise missile airborne blue steel In November 1954 the Ministry of Supply of the United Kingdom issued a memorandum in which it stressed that the end of the 1950s the Soviet air defense capabilities of the system is projected to rise so much that the British attempt to break through to strategic bombers main goals to defeat their svobodnopadayuschie thermonuclear bombs will be doomed to failure. To solve this problem, we propose to develop a cruise missile with a powerful thermonuclear warhead that could be used either for direct destruction of the target, or to neutralize air defenses important to further break to defeat its purpose and bombs. Firing range of the new missile was to be not less than 90 km. Requirements for new weapons from the Air Force have been concretized in September 1954 after the operational requirements (Operational Requirement) OR.1132. Among the demands appeared: the maximum speed of the order of M = 3, compact and powerful thermonuclear warhead, the possibility of using all three types of missiles British strategic bombers class V ("Valiant", "Victor", "Vulcan").

    In 1955 the Ministry of Supply voiced main contractor for the development of a new rocket - it was the company "Avro". Subcontractors were chosen: the development of management systems - the company "Elliots" with the Royal Research aviation center ("Royal Aircraft Establishment") with the assistance of the American company "Kearfott", the development of the power plant - the company "Armstrong Siddeley", Development onboard auxiliary power source - the company "De Havilland". Development of thermonuclear warhead traditionally carried Oldermastonskim UK research center of atomic weapons (Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Aldermaston) within the operational requirements (Operational Requirement) OR.1141. In the course of project development company "Avro" suggests a further development of the concept of a new missile, dubbed "Blue Steel". Modifications designed to achieve greater maximum range (up to 1700 km) and higher maximum speed (up to M = 4.5), but all of these ideas have not been translated into reality, both technical and financial reasons. Direct work on creating missiles began in 1956.

    Create a new kind of weapon was accompanied by numerous problems. One of the major obstacles encountered by the developers was the impossibility of rapid assessment of possible weight and size parameters promising thermonuclear warhead, which is extremely detrimental effect on the assessment of the possible characteristics of the rocket itself - the inability to create a proper British thermonuclear warhead led to a delay in the establishment of a rocket for a period of 2 to 3 years. An important problem is the problem of selecting appropriate construction materials to build a rocket. Difficulties arose when creating an inertial navigation system for missiles - could not achieve acceptable accuracy and reliability. Developers are also faced with significant systemic problems with the integration of all missile systems into a coherent whole.

    According to British scientists and engineers the ability to create a prototype thermonuclear warhead suitable only British forces there would be no earlier than 1958, which could have an adverse impact on the entire program. In view of the circumstances in 1959 it was decided to abolish the acquisition and OR.1141 within OR.1171 the U.S. license to manufacture thermonuclear warhead W-28, which was originally designed for use in the U.S. ALCM "Hound Dog". Introduced by the British in the American development were minimal and focused primarily use British construction materials and security options. This choice affect warhead assessment of British experts AWRE, from studies that make an unequivocal conclusion - promising "a purely British" warhead is larger and heavier "anglicised» W-28, which received the name of "Red Snow". Also missiles "Blue Steel", a new warhead used on svobodnopadayuschie thermonuclear bomb "Yellow Sun" Mk2. After determining the weight and size parameters work on missile warhead has accelerated dramatically.

    Actually, the missile "Blue Steel" was planned as a temporary phenomenon, before joining the British armed strategic bombers promising American-made missiles Skybolt. Individual nodes of a new missile reached the preliminary tests in 1959. Same test the first prototypes ALCM "Blue Steel" held in 1960, 1961. at Woomera rocket range in Australia (Woomera Missile Range) as part of Operation "Blue Ranger". In operation involved strategic bombers "Victor" and "Vulcan" - from the new missile weapons bombers "Valiant" was abandoned, since last scheduled to retire due to the appearance in the construction of aircraft fatigue cracks. During the operation, revealed numerous shortcomings of the new weapons and it took considerable time to correct the deficiencies identified. Only in September 1962, the missile has been recognized by the RAF suitable for the task, and then serial missiles began arriving in combat units. In February 1963 British bombers first began to alert duty with new weapons on board. By this time (more precisely, in 1962), the U.S. closed the program "Skybolt", which was a shock to the British military. As compensation, the United States offered to provide the UK large-scale scientific and technical assistance in establishing their own naval strategic nuclear forces, but these plans could be implemented at the maximum voltage of all national forces not before the end of the 1960s, which made the strategic bombers with ALCM "Blue Steel" , in fact, the only national means of so-called. "Nuclear deterrence" in the relatively long term. Fully operational with new ALCM bombers, get the full name of "Blue Steel" Mk1 reached only in 1964.

    Given the situation on the national nuclear weapons scientists and engineers have proposed a program of gradual modernization of missiles deep "Blue Steel", which was supposed to get progressively more powerful warhead, longer range, higher speed, etc. However, due to the fact that the most significant part of the funding of the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom went to finance the creation of nuclear-powered submarine fleet and infrastructure, to finance modernization programs "Blue Steel" funds already almost gone. The only modification of the original missile ALCM became "Blue Steel" Mk1A (Project "Blue Steel Low Level"), which has been modified so as to gain the ability to run at low altitude - the end of the first half of the 1960s, the British military, for example their American counterparts, have come to the conclusion that only "care" strategic bombers from the stratosphere to the low altitude flight at overcoming air defense system can increase the likelihood of "breakthrough" aircraft to potential targets. If the modification ALCM Mk1 separated from the carrier at an altitude of 21.5 km, the modification ALCM Mk1A could be applied to a height of about 0.3 km. All issued ALCM Mk1 modifications were modified to a level Mk1A. Work on the same promising modifications ALCM "Blue Steel" (Mk1D and Mk2) were consistently stopped. In all there were 73 missiles "Blue Steel", which was enough to equip 48 bombers (each bomber was carrying on an external sling under the fuselage of one ALCM) and the presence of a certain stock of missiles for testing and the training starts. Removing ALCM "Blue Steel" with weapons, started in 1969, after the Royal Navy for service began in 1968 SSBN class act "Resolution" with SLBMs "Polaris-A3T". By December 1970 the process of removing the missiles from service was over, and the Royal Air Force bombers returned again to the "philosophy" of applying only svobodnopadayuschih thermonuclear bombs.


    ALCM "Blue Steel", it should be noted that the British succeeded in creating weapons, several bombers breakthrough increases the likelihood of the probable enemy air defense system, but the new missile became obsolete long before decommissioning. Separately, it should be noted that in the second half of the 1950s the level of British industry - once the strongest in the world - has fallen so much that the creation of separate new weapons on their own without the help of the United States has become impossible.


    cruise missile airborne blue steel Blue Steel cruise missile was made of aerodynamic configuration" duck "(see diagram). Its warhead was installed elevator triangular shaped (in plan) with the cut ends, and in the rear fuselage - delta wing with curved ends and two keels. Ventral fin rockets formed in suspension and was placed vertically after take-off the aircraft carrier. Missile control carried out by means of bow rudder, aileron and rudder on the top fin. The missile had a white "Fallout" coloring.

    The aft missile was located liquid rocket engine "Stentor" Mk101 (see photo, diagram). The engine has two chambers - the top and bottom. Top (large) camera along with the lower (small) camera designed to disperse first ALCM to the maximum speed at a fixed thrust. Then the camera turns off the upper and lower work continues only (small) camera with less traction, but the longer burning time. Link small chamber varied depending on the flight conditions, maintaining speed ALCM on one level. The upper chamber supported cravings with an accuracy of ± 5% lower - with an accuracy of ± 2,5%. Propellants - Rocket kerosene (fuel) and hydrogen peroxide HTP (oxidizer). Refilling missiles before installing missiles carried on aircraft maintenance personnel in protective suits and took about 30 minutes.

    missile was equipped with analog inertial control system development company "Elliots" with the Royal Research aviation center ("Royal Aircraft Establishment") with the assistance of the American company "Kearfott". The system could serve as a support in the event of failure of the navigation system on the aircraft carrier. Before separating the missiles from the aircraft carrier made the procedure for entering into the control system of coordinates refined rocket launch site of the navigation system of the aircraft carrier. In standard mode, the application of a few kilometers to the target missile began to dive with a further defeat targets using thermonuclear warhead non-detachable. Warhead itself "Red Snow" is a modification of the U.S. W-28 warhead. Capacity was 1.1 Mt warhead that was enough to destroy poorly protected area targets, as well as disruption of air defense radar systems and various electronics. Warhead was developed Oldermastonskim research center of atomic weapons (Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Aldermaston) in scientific and technical assistance to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (Atomic Energy Commission). Circular error probable missiles at maximum range does not exceed 600 m


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    maximum flight speed, M


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    minimum diameter fuselage, m


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    Link LRE kg:
    - The upper chamber
    - Lower chamber



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