Strategic cruise missiles land-based SM-62A Snark



    Surface PU

    management system:

    management software








    8850 km.

    year development:


    strategic land-based cruise missile sm-62a snark A few weeks before the end of the Second World War, in August 1945, the headquarters of U.S. Army Air Forces (until 1947 the U.S. Air Force were not a separate species of the armed forces) announced a call for proposals to develop a new type of weapon - a subsonic cruise missile capable of reaching distance of at least 8000 km. The best offer was presented by "Northrop Aircraft", which in March 1946 was awarded a contract to conduct research for the development of a subsonic cruise missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead weighing not less than 2300 kg at a distance in the range of 2400 to 8000 km. Company President J. Northrop personally appropriated the name of the new missile "Snark" in honor of one of the writer's literary heroes Lewis Carroll - half snake / poluakuly (snake / shark = "Snark").


    new product almost kicked the bucket, not yet descended from the drawing boards of designers - in December 1946, in the wake of defense budget cuts, program development KR almost been closed. Program saved only warranty provided personally J. Northrop Army Air Forces leadership - president promised that the missile will be developed only for 2.5 years at a cost not exceeding $ 80,000 apiece, if an order for production of the Government will be not less than 5000 pieces (the promise, of course, has not been fulfilled by both parties). The main contractor for the development of the rocket itself was the company "Northrop Aircraft". At the initial stage, the main contractor for the development of turbojet propulsion firm acted "Allison". The control system was developed jointly by "Northrop Aircraft" and the corporation "General Electric". Army Air Force leadership planned that the new missile will be an effective tool for unmanned destruction of the Soviet air defense (especially radar) and ensure effective bridging boundaries defense strategic bombers.

    prototype new cruise missile "Snark" got company designation N-25. The missile had "airplane" layout with advanced swept horizontal tail and fin, had a wingspan of 13.1 m at 15.8 m length of the body and take-off weight of 12.7 tons, was equipped with a J-33 turbojet engine. The first flight planned for 1949 with the Holloman Air Base (New Mexico), but due to a number of technical problems, he held until April 1951. Start was conducted using a special booster catapult. Even before the "Snark" first took off, the Air Force tightened requirements for the new machine. In June 1950, the Air Force gave the company "Northrop Aircraft" requirements following order: to provide for the possibility of short supersonic KR throw at a high altitude to increase the mass of warhead up to 3200 kg; increase the accuracy to achieve CWE maximum 500m at maximum range.

    To meet the increased demands from the Air Force Northrop J. ordered the development of an advanced version of the CD, which received the designation N-69A "Super Snark". The new missile had a takeoff weight of 22.2 tons, a length of 20.4 m, a more powerful engine "Allison" J71 (he was also installed on the modifications and N-69B and N-69C). In 1952 the Air Force was ordered to turn the test activity at Holloman AFB and move it to Patrick AFB, Florida, where he hosted the Atlantic missile range, the Air Force ("Air Force Atlantic Missile Range"). However, despite this order, until 1957 to deploy fully tested at the new location was not possible (although the first launch of the program took place at the new location in August 1953) due to the constant missed deadlines commissioning important test benches. A test program frustrated not only the fault of the BBC - in May 1955 at the next testing phase revealed that the missile is not in a state with the accuracy required to perform a "dive" with a further defeat targets using non-detachable warhead. The contractor was forced to make numerous changes to the rocket structure - now that serves a warhead was a detachable bow, and a main body of the Kyrgyz Republic after separating warhead was undermined by a system of self-destruction (and thus planned to create a significant number of false targets, making it difficult to intercept breakaway BSc). Modified rocket with detachable warhead N-69C went on trial in September 1955. In November 1955, went on trial modification N-69D - this modification was equipped with J57 turbojets corporation "Pratt & Whitney" and astroinertial management system (firing range increased by equipping KR discharged outboard fuel tanks). Testing astroinertial system began in January 1948, on the ground, and in 1951-1958, the city continued in the air - on the B-29 bombers and B-45. In October 1957, started pre-production prototype test launch of N-69E KR "Snark". In December 1957, Patrick AFB, Florida, was activated 556-I Strategic Missile Squadron, designed to train personnel for future full-time units.

    strategic land-based cruise missile sm-62a snark

    Tests KR "Snark" were big problems - the number of crashed and rest on the bottom of the Atlantic missile was so great that local wags dubbed the water near the airbase Patrick "infected via Snark». Apotheosis, attracting media attention, it was the collapse of one of the missiles off course, in the rainforests of Brazil in December 1956. Naturally, such a string of bad luck alarming SAC Air Force, which was to become the main operator of the new technology. CAA experts pointed out that the new missile is extremely vulnerable both on the ground and in flight. In turn, the creators tried to protect his child - in the period 1955-1958 gg. J. Northrop spent in the aviation press aggressive campaign in defense of KR "Snark". The main arguments were as follows - no need for a large number of costly air tankers needed for strategic bombers, as well as the lack of and the need for a large number of trained crews. In addition, "Snark" was much smaller, and cheaper than the newest then bomber Boeing B-52 "Stratofortress".

    But by 1958 it became clear that the main competitor "Snark" stands not just strategic bomber, a new kind of weapon - an intercontinental ballistic missile. By the end of 1958 it finally became clear that the supply of arms to the IDB is not far off, so the Air Force senior management has expressed doubts about the validity of further financial costs of the program "Snark". Air Force leadership strengthened in their confidence after in June 1958 for a test launch of the Kyrgyz Republic "Snark" started SAC Air Force crews from the 556 th Squadron strategic missile - a rocket demonstrated very poor performance on shooting accuracy and reliability.

    Nevertheless, the logic of the Cold War dictated its laws - in March 1957 it was announced that the first (it turned out later that the only) positional base area for the CD "Snark" become airbase Presque Ayzl (Maine) construction work on which began in May 1956 (the main contractor - the company JR Cianchete Construction). Position area was as close to potential targets in the European part of the USSR. In March 1958, the Corporation "Northrop Aircraft" in the Air Force delivered the first production missile "Snark", which received the designation SM-62A. The first successful launch of the KR series took place in April 1959.

    in January 1959 at an airbase Presque Ayzl was activated 702 th Strategic Missile Wing. First KR "Snark" arrived at the base in May 1959 and embarked on combat duty in March 1960. I-556 Strategic Missile Squadron, which was to join the 702 th Strategic Missile Wing with moving from an airbase at Patrick AFB Presque Ayzl was deactivated in July 1959. R & D program "Snark" were fully completed in December 1960. Fully operational base was announced in February 1961 - on duty could be no more than the maximum 12 KR. However, progress in the development and formulation of ICBMs on alert first generation ("Atlas" and "Titan-I"), coupled with the successful research and development aimed at creating a much more advanced second-generation ICBM ("Titan-II" and "Minuteman IA / B "), forced the U.S. administration to make a final judgment of the KR" Snark ". Already in March 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ordered to withdraw KR "Snark" with weapons "due to obsolescence and minimum values of the military." By the end of June 1961 all missiles "Snark" were removed from combat duty and weapons. 702 th Strategic Missile Wing was deactivated at the same time. Despite the fact that the process of developing and testing missiles took about 15 years in service she stood just over a year. Given spent on the project a lot of force and funding program "Snark" can not be called successful.


    strategic land-based cruise missile sm-62a snark KR" Snark "was a monoplane with an upstream swept wing (see diagram). Horizontal stabilizer tail missing. Controls - Two-section elevons on the wings and a relatively small rudder on the vertical tail. Fuselage KR functionally divided into several parts and is made of aluminum alloy with the inclusion of steel elements. In the bow of combat equipment housed - thermonuclear warhead W-39 capacity of 4 Mt, which was enough to secure destruction of area military and political objectives in the USSR. Warhead warhead traditionally developed the Atomic Energy Commission ("Atomic Energy Commission"). This warhead was made on the basis of a thermonuclear bomb svobodnopadayuschie strategic B-39. Warhead was performed separated from the main body portion. To hit a target was provided next maneuver - KR, fly at an altitude of 15.8 km (cruising flight ceiling) at 0.9 M, at a distance of 80.5 km from the target begins to accelerate to a speed of 0.94 M to climb up 18.3 km. After completion of the acceleration occurred flight to the target, which happened near the office MS using explosive bolts on the body and the disclosure of MS special stabilizing surfaces, then rushed to the target warhead on a ballistic trajectory (see photo). The main part of the fuselage then destroyed by special low-power charges in order to create false targets for radar and air defense missile systems. The forward fuselage was well and apparatus for automatic test warhead detonation. During the flight, this equipment checked by a special automatic detonation test program twice.

    In the central part of the fuselage were vnutrifyuzelyazhnyh fuel tanks containing a standard for the U.S. Air Force at the time fuel - jet fuel JP-4. In addition to the fuselage fuel tanks, fuel and was discharged in two underwing fuel tanks with total capacity of 2245 liters. Tanks are placed into special small underwing hardpoints were under 4.5 ° angle to the vertical plane and 2 ° to the horizontal plane. In the rear housed powerplant - turbojet J57-P-17 Corporation "Pratt & Whitney". The engine was placed in a special compartment in the lower fairing tail. Fairing was stocked inlet and the exhaust nozzle for the operation of the engine. At the initial stage of the flight, and included two solid accelerator installed on specific nodes in the tail suspension portion. Accelerators have been developed Allegheny ballistic laboratory ("Allegany Ballistics Laboratory"). Accelerators worked 4 seconds, then dropped to reduce the mass of the rocket and reduce its drag. In the rear is placed astroinertial and control system. Astroblok included three telescope covered with two flaps. In the case of passing flight astroblok regular program included in the work twice. Admissible during the flight the rocket off course deviation was 120.7 km away from the flight path. With this deviation management system could not cope with the task of returning the rocket on course. During the flight, if necessary, the control system could give pre-programmed commands to perform evasive maneuvers flak - 8 to 90 ° deviation from the previous direction of flight inclusive. For cooling is in the tail section of the electronics in the bottom of the vertical tail was provided a small air intake.

    Launch Complex missiles "Snark" at the airbase Presque Ayzl (see diagram) includes 6 single-storey sheds where missiles mounted on mobile launchers (see diagram), maintained, tested and ready to run. In each building there are both no more than 5 CD. Launch number 1 was stored in 15-minute readiness for launch. Rockets number 2 and number 3 - a 30-minute and 180-minute and ready to start, respectively. Rockets number number 4 and 5 could be prepared for launch no more than 3 and 5 days, respectively. Each hangar has a size of 128 * 24 m Hangars were spaced 137 m apart from each other. Before each hangar were two pad diameter of 48.8 m, made of concrete thickness of 25-30 cm Thus, while on duty could be no more than 12 missiles. The described technique based had many critics, because even for the second half of the 50s did not provide adequate survival strategy system.


    hangars and launch pads were placed on the basis of: power / water pumping station (49 * 31 m) testing laboratory for THD (30 * 19 m), two-story building command post / observation post (13 * 12 m); fuel storage, seats up to 57,000 liters of kerosene.


    Length, m


    Wingspan, m


    Height, m


    starting weight (without overclocking SRBs), t


    Weight booster RDDT (total), t


    Cruising speed, km / h


    Maximum altitude, km


    firing range, km

    8850 (according to some sources - up to 9650 km)

    CWE km


    Power warhead, Mt


    turbojet propulsion thrust, kN


    Link solid propellant boosters

    (total), kN



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