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AGM-64 Hornet

overscan (PaulMM)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-64_Hornet

The AGM-64 Hornet is a missile produced by the United States of America.

The weapon began life in the early 1960s. North American produced a missile design for the U.S. Air Force's Anti-Tank Guided Aircraft Rocket (ATGAR) project. The ATGAR was ultimately not produced, but the Air Force was impressed enough that in 1963 it awarded North American a development contract for the ZAGM-64A Hornet missile. The Hornet planned as a battlefield missile for use against armoured vehicles which would mount an electro-optical guidance system.

The first test firing of the prototype XAGM-64A occurred in December 1964. It was powered by a fast-burning solid rocket motor. The electro-optical guidance system provided a live TV image to the cockpit; the operator would lock the missile onto the desired target before launch and the missile would home in on it automatically.

The Air Force ultimately stopped development of the AGM-64, judging that the similar AGM-65 Maverick had more potential. Although not produced as a weapon, the Hornet became a testbed for various guidance systems including different varieties of electro-optical systems and a magnetic guidance system. The program was terminated in 1968.

The XAGM-64 was briefly revived in the early 1970s, again to test missile guidance systems. The propulsion system of the missile was upgraded, increasing the range to as much as 2.5 miles (4 km). In this configuration the Hornet tested laser guidance packages, the electro-optical system designed for the GBU-8/B and GBU-9/B Homing Bomb System (HOBOS) glide bombs and the terminal guidance system for the AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missile.
 

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pathology_doc

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Difficult to tell exactly how large it is, but it brings to mind a vision of a Hughes Falcon with an E/O seeker jammed into its nose.


Oh well. It may not have seen combat, but given the number of systems it was a test-bed for, it could be said that it served its nation well. I wonder where it fell down.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Its the ancestor of (North American) Rockwell AGM-114 Hellfire - clip the rear wings, and it becomes clearer.
 

pathology_doc

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Its the ancestor of (North American) Rockwell AGM-114 Hellfire - clip the rear wings, and it becomes clearer.


It does indeed. But fit forward triangular canards to that glossy B&W pic (the top one) and it's practically a clone of some AIM-4 models. :p (And hey, didn't the F-102's in the Vietnam theatre try firing heat-seeking AIM-4's at ground targets at one point, designated by the fighter's IR seeker? Compare that to IR Maverick and designation by FLIR. The fighter jocks arguably had the answer; they just didn't have sufficient resolution in either the on-board imaging or the in-missile guidance system to make it work.)
 

robunos

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pathology_doc said:
PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Its the ancestor of (North American) Rockwell AGM-114 Hellfire - clip the rear wings, and it becomes clearer.


It does indeed. But fit forward triangular canards to that glossy B&W pic (the top one) and it's practically a clone of some AIM-4 models...

I seem to remember reading, some years ago, sorry can't remember where, or by whom, might have been t Great Gunston, that in the early years of guided missile development, the aerodynamics were very much a 'black art', so when a configuration was found that worked, it was re-used as much as possible. Hence, why the Hughes missiles, Falcon, HAWK, Maverick, all look alike...

cheers,
Robin.
 

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Agreed, especially given just how much work they had to put into generating and testing all those configurations back then. Frankly, I'm a lot more intrigued by how similar the external profile of De Havilland's Red Top is to some iterations of the (admittedly substantially larger) Vickers Red Dean, right down to the fin profile. If you show just the silhouettes, with no identification, scale information or surface detail, it can be hard to tell between them. Sure, you can argue for convergent engineering evolution for similar purposes, but even so, they are freakishly close. Makes you wonder who from Vickers might have gone over to DH and taken their work with them.


IIRC you can see that same straight leading edge/swept trailing edge profile on the Seaslug SAM too. It seems to be something of which British missile aerodynamicists of the era were enamoured.
 

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