Fi-103 (V-1) missiles on Aircraft Carrier Impero


CLEARANCE: Restricted
Dec 9, 2009
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Hi to all,
I am still here to write about news written in the book "Aircraft Carrier Impero" (authors Davide F. Jabes and Stefano Sappino). We talked about it here:,30931.0.html

and here about the DAAC antiaircraft missile:,31222.0.html

At pages 168-173 there are some info about the intended use of V-1 missiles (or similar) on the Impero aircraft Carrier:

V-1 on RN Impero CV
The following series of illustrations introduces an unexpected element in the evolution of the study of the conversion of RN Impero: the presence of embarked jet-propulsion or rocket-propelled weapons.
As is evident from the documents, Ansaldo already knew the details of one of the most secret German retaliatory weapons, the VI, before 1943 and was, in any event, searching for an innovative solution for the anti-ship armament of its major ships, studying the matter in conjunction with Campini since 1939. We already summarily examined the developments that led to the V-1 in Germany.
The Ansaldo company purchased, in several steps, the so called ‘Gunnarson document’ in Switzerland, with an operation of industrial intelligence that Piazzai sponsored at the board of directors. The document, available as photo negatives, was obtained through funds drawn from a secret bank account also located in the Helvetian Confederacy; the total amount was 150,000 Lire in gold marks (approximately 240,000 Euro in 2016 as a reference to the gold).
The ‘Gunnarson document’ was composed of a series of intelligence reports, which were sent by Danish sources via Sweden to Great Britain from 1942 and, in the process, intercepted and sold. Sweden was neutral; however, it had maintained contacts with Italy because of the past military collaboration and the Swedish land was directly overlooking the German base of Peenemunde where experiments for secret German military weapons were being developed.
The AC [Archivio Campagnoli, Ansaldo naval engineer] includes a series of drawings related to the on-board placement on the aircraft carrier Impero of objects classified as Fi 103 (namely V-1). From the analysis done, they do not appear to perfectly match the German weapons, even if they are based on them.
The first drawing shows the launch ramp (41 metres long) and a jet-propelled weapon in a rather different shape from the V-l, even if labelled as ‘Fi 103’. The ramp was placed at bow in a side position, with support joints distributed throughout the main frames of the ship. It is possible that a stabilising mechanism for the ramp was included.
The weapon appears to be equipped with a vertical tail, though it is not possible to determine whether it also has helms and whether it was radio guided or not. The main body is 7.5 metres long with a diameter of approximately 1.3 metres. The engine is approximately 5 metres long, with a diameter of approximately 60 cm, and a total length of approximately 8.8 metres.
The launch ramp (30 metres long) reserved for the new weapons was moved to the port and a specific deflector shield, which can be elevated, was added at its end with the purpose of blocking and dispersing the high-temperature jet flow.
The elevator for jet and rocket weapons was 15 x 12.5 metres, and the one designated to serve the launch preparation station approximately 8x7 metres. This area is detailed in a 1:100 drawing of the ramp (apparently with a rail guide 1.1 metre wide) and of the weapon. A hydraulic elevated shield 8 metres wide and 4.4 metres long is placed 5.5 metres from the launching point of the weapon.
Based on the gathered information and of the low military value of an embarked weapon of this type, Ansaldo considered abandoning the Fi 103, while the research on the DAAC continued, considering a longer launch ramp to increase the war load.
Below some images of the missile on the ramp and in the elevator, as depicted in the book.

P.S. for administrators: I started two different threads about DAAC and the V-1 on the Impero, but if you think differently please consider to merge them.



I really should change my personal text
May 30, 2013
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Yep, extremely interesting book! Made a series of articles (on Russian) about both the DAAC and Fi-103: