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Bendix « Talos Land System » as possible ICBM interceptor

sferrin

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Ideas? (I know what it is but the site I got it from is a rare treat. Just wondering if anybody else had seen it. :) )
 

sferrin

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sublight said:
I've seen that before, it was at White Sands....
Yep. Do you know what it was?
 

sferrin

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sublight said:
One of the many missile projects my dad worked on.
Well that's a safe bet. ;) It is the White Sands Missile Range after all. I imagine your dad has all kinds of interesting "war stories". Must be fun to pick his brain. :)
 

sferrin

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Talos Land System
Talos was considered by the Army and Air Force for land defense of targets and the nuclear warhead version was considered as a possible ICBM interceptor.4 In 1955 a "roundhouse" installation was built by the Air Force at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, to test the missile as a point defense system for Strategic Air Command air bases. It functioned as a completely automatic system from target designation to intercept and was the most advanced antiaircraft system in existence.
Meanwhile, the Army and Air Force were squabbling over which service should be operating ground based air defense systems. In 1956 the Senate Armed Services Committee ended the bickering by awarding the Army responsibility for land based missiles with a range up to 200 miles. The completed and ready to run Talos Land System was turned over to the Army for evaluation. The Army was developing its own Nike Hercules anti aircraft missile system and had little interest in Talos, even though Talos was operational and Hercules was not. The Army decided to cancel the Talos Land System and disassembled the facility at White Sands."

http://www.okieboat.com/Talos.html

If you like the Talos, this is by far the best source of information I've ever seen. It covers a lot of detail of the ramjet, warhead, operations, performance, history, etc.
 

pathology_doc

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Fascinating! I'd imagine that a fully operational land-based system, being entirely free of volume constraints, could accommodate a much greater number of missiles in fully assembled format (possibly even all of them) and more guidance-illuminator sets for a much higher rate of engagement.

Have to admit, though, I'm not sure I like the thought of a nuke-on-nuke engagement using an air-breathing missile as the interceptor vehicle. Was Talos's altitude capability really good enough to lift a powerful enough nuclear warhead high enough to avoid collateral damage? Over the sea it doesn't really matter so much; over sensitive targets, some of which may be civilian, though, it's another story. Possibly the relief from shipboard constraint would have allowed a much bigger rocket booster to be fitted to the ABM version for a better head start, but ultimately it's still an air breather...
 

sferrin

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pathology_doc said:
Fascinating! I'd imagine that a fully operational land-based system, being entirely free of volume constraints, could accommodate a much greater number of missiles in fully assembled format (possibly even all of them) and more guidance-illuminator sets for a much higher rate of engagement.

Have to admit, though, I'm not sure I like the thought of a nuke-on-nuke engagement using an air-breathing missile as the interceptor vehicle. Was Talos's altitude capability really good enough to lift a powerful enough nuclear warhead high enough to avoid collateral damage? Over the sea it doesn't really matter so much; over sensitive targets, some of which may be civilian, though, it's another story. Possibly the relief from shipboard constraint would have allowed a much bigger rocket booster to be fitted to the ABM version for a better head start, but ultimately it's still an air breather...
Don't know if you read all the articles at the link but they mention 100,000ft altitude capability. (That's about Sprint altitude. Granted one is going horizontal while the other is passing through 100,000ft headed up.)
 

pathology_doc

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And your last sentence basically illuminates my concerns. Talos is built for a flight OUT to a target at high straightline speed on a relatively horizontal flightpath, followed by a brief period of engagement. Some of that last stretch is going to be in coast phase, but the thing is already doing M3.2 or thereabouts at engine burnout and has some energy to spare in thin air. A flight up is another matter - is there going to be enough retained energy for manoeuvre to final engagement if the missile is coasting the last few thousand feet, with practically all the lift needed to be provided by thrust?

Methinks you'd need (as I suggested) a more powerful booster for the first phase, altering the ramjet and tweaking the fuel flow for a later start and a final phase in more rarefied air, possibly changes to the fins which changes the aerodynamic responses and the manoeuvre transfer functions, which requires changes to the electronics, etc. etc. By the time you've finished, is it really still a Talos and would the redesign effort not be better off getting put into a new missile?

I'll give you this: as a stopgap or last resort, it's almost certainly better than nothing.
 

Petrus

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The ground-based Talos system was being referred to as the Talos Defense Unit. It was built at White Sands Proving Ground. Here you have a photo of the TDU with the control center (319 feet long, 80 feet wide, 30 feet high) in the foreground. On its roof there are two target-tracking and illuminating radars and two guidance beam transmitters, which meant that the system could have engaged two targets simultaneously. Behind the radar building the missile firing complex may be seen. It containded a launcher with storage (for six missiles) and reloading facilities.

Besides you've got here a photo of a missile on the launcher inside the firing complex.

Below you may also find scans of two pages from The Wisconsin engineer Volume 62, Number 5 (February 1958), with a short article on the Talos Defense Unit as well as a chapter on this subject from John Hopkins APL Technical Digest Vol. 3, No. 2, 1982.

Piotr
 

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pathology_doc

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Wow, that's a long time between thread posts.

Then again, I've been away for quite a time. Thanks for that info.
 

cjwilks

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Her's a satellite photo of the TALOS DEFENSE UNIT as it looks today at WSMR.
 

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