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Clustered Atomic Warhead (CLAW) Project and Titan III

bobbymike

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From what appears to be a book abstract by Maurice F. Crommie. His website has this in his resume

Dec 1962 - Sept 1971

Consulting Engineer, Senior Scientist and Project Leader in strategic nuclear weapon design at General Electric, McDonald Douglas, Stanford Research Institute, Conductron Corporation and Avco Research and Advanced Design.

Jan 1960 - Dec 1962

Senior Engineer and Heat Transfer Specialist in rocket nozzle design and space capsule re-entry at TRW and Avco Research and Advanced Design.

March 1955 - Dec 1959

Aerothermodynamicist / jet engine designer

Link to his bibliography - http://home.olemiss.edu/~mcrommie/

“The subject of our paper was multiple warhead delivery systems. The title of our paper was “CLAW”, which stood for “Clustered Atomic Warheads”. We delivered this paper at a top secret restricted session of AMRAC at the secure Naval Station in San Diego in 1962. It was the first paper of its type advocating multiple warhead payloads. MIRV hadn’t been invented yet. The capability for Multiple Independently Targeted Re-entry Vehicles didn’t exist in 1962. Our system could deliver multiple warheads, but only on a single target in a circular or elliptical pattern. This was an advance in the state of the art at that time.

[snip]

“Following the success of our AMRAC paper, I was promoted to Project Engineer for the design of a heavy payload system, 39,000 pounds on top of a Titan III missile. The mission was to negate the Leningrad SAM defense system to allow our B 52′s access to the target. My liaison officer was a U.S.A.F. major, who was a B 52 pilot. His idea was that when we softened up the target with our nuclear barrage, he would fly in and finish it off.

“Me and my team designed a three tiered payload with 13 one megaton Mark 11 RV’s in each tier (39 total) which would be spun out in space and impact the Leningrad defenses in three concentric elliptical rings. Our liaison officer was ecstatic, his bomb run would be unopposed. What he didn’t seem to realize was that there would be nothing left to bomb after we laid down a barrage equal to 2000 times the weapon that destroyed Hiroshima.”

http://home.olemiss.edu/~mcrommie/aerospace.html
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Now that's my kind of ICBM :D
 

Graham1973

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bobbymike said:
“Following the success of our AMRAC paper, I was promoted to Project Engineer for the design of a heavy payload system, 39,000 pounds on top of a Titan III missile. The mission was to negate the Leningrad SAM defense system to allow our B 52′s access to the target. My liaison officer was a U.S.A.F. major, who was a B 52 pilot. His idea was that when we softened up the target with our nuclear barrage, he would fly in and finish it off.

“Me and my team designed a three tiered payload with 13 one megaton Mark 11 RV’s in each tier (39 total) which would be spun out in space and impact the Leningrad defenses in three concentric elliptical rings. Our liaison officer was ecstatic, his bomb run would be unopposed. What he didn’t seem to realize was that there would be nothing left to bomb after we laid down a barrage equal to 2000 times the weapon that destroyed Hiroshima.”

As the man said, "Nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to make sure"...

But, back in the real world, I thought the Titan III was only intended as a satellite launch vehicle.
 

Skybolt

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Actually as late as 1964 there were studies on using Titan evolution as special-purpose super-ICBM. It was one of the many threads for a third generation ICBM force. There was some coverage in AW&ST, as I mentioned in a post in some other topic. BTW, the heavy ICBM studies crystallized in WS-120A.
 

Graham1973

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Skybolt said:
Actually as late as 1964 there were studies on using Titan evolution as special-purpose super-ICBM. It was one of the many threads for a third generation ICBM force. There was some coverage in AW&ST, as I mentioned in a post in some other topic. BTW, the heavy ICBM studies crystallized in WS-120A.

Which thread?
 

Skybolt

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To name just two (the most known from open-source sources, but what about global-reach missiles, or recallable ICBMs, or ICGMs ?) There was the so-called "heavy-payload" thread of possible development of third-generation US ICBMs (Minuteman was considered second generation). At one time the heavyness of payload was required to match the USSR (grossly over)estimated capability of 35.000 lbs. Proposed systems included a thyxotropic (gelled with metal particles) fuel version of Titan-2 (at one time called apparently Titan-IIIM, don't know how reliable this last info is), a non-manrated version of Titan-IIIC, and later a 156" motor solid ICBM. Another thread of possible development was the road-mobile small ICBM (SICBM), which started very early (late-1959) with SR-19872 that asked for a solid or storable liquids small ICBM that was was unofficially called Midgetman (oh, yes) or Shrimp. This thread had a lot of re-incarnations, unfortunately not well (or not at all) documented, evolutions and derivatives (MMRBM was a by-product). A downgraded evolution of the heavy-payload development led to WS-120A.
 

Grey Havoc

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Some history on MMRBM (among other things) can be found in this document: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb249/doc03.pdf
 

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