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ICBM carrier

Jemiba

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Well known as a proposed ICBM carrier is the Boeing 747. Nevertheless
Boeing also promoted some different designs during the 1970s, e.g. purely
land based four and six engined aircraft, with a maximum take-off weight
of up to 680.000 kg and 24 hours loitering time, with a 180.000 kg payload.
Another proposal was or an amphibian (!) aircraft with a MTOW of 395.000 kg
and a payload of 90.000 kg.

(From Aviation Week, February 1974)

Antonov designed a version of the An-22 as an ICBM carrier, designated An-22R,
too, but still yet, I've seen no picture of it. Perhaps somebody else ? What I
know is, that the An-22Sch with it monstrous back and tail WASN'T a missile carrier !
 

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styx

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Very interesting, i read on an italian publication that initial deployement studies for the Minuteman contemplated also a sort of autonomous flight uav.
 

Skybolt

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Uh, look out in a post in a few hours. I'm completing the scans...
 

Jemiba

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"The An22's payload would have been launched upwards?"

As Boxkite told me, at least in one publication it was said, that
the An-22R would have carried three R-27 ICBMs, normally carried
on submarines, which should have been launched vertically in flight.
But the enormous tail was characteristical for the Sch version, not
necessarily for the R !
Let's wait for Skybolt !
 

flateric

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An-22R (Raketny-Missile), strategic airborne missile complex. Was intensively studied in 1969-1970 in OKB-473 together with TzAGI, NII AS and other Ministery of Aviation Industry units. Shoud carry, as one of variants, three R-27 missiles (article 4К10 to defeat ground targets or article 4K18 to defeat CVBGs) in vertical silos (missiles firings would step forth of upper fuselage). No images released yet.

-Sh of course was never intended to fire missiles. As of interest, this pronounced 'bulb' was 9,6 meters in diameter.
 

Skybolt

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Using airplanes (big and not so big ones) to carry or carry and launch ICBM has a rather long and winding story. I've not be able to find any such concepts at the very start of the ICBM history (sorry, no UAV carrying Minutemen), but already in 1964 the Aerospace Corporation (a sort of competitor of RAND) in its broad Golden Arrow study on the future of land-based ICBMs devised at least two concepts. The second I'll leave to another post since it is not strictly an ICBM launcher. The first was for a air transportable system, based on C-141 used to continously lifting two Minuteman complete with their erector-launchers from a base to another in the CONUS. Nothing happened and the ait-mobile ICBM seemed to fall out of fashion: the 1967 Strat-X study covered a lot of different options for basing ICBM, EXCLUDING the air-mobile one.
In 1973 the wind changed, under the influence of Gen. Otto Glasser, Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development, who had worked with the famous Gen. Schriever, father of many of the innovations within USAF. Actually Lockheed had designed and proposed in 1970 a C-5 based missile launcher carrying three Poseidons, called Greyhound, but Poseidons were Navy things...
Between 1973 and 1976 a score a proposals followed. The Boeing ones described above were presented in 1974 at an AIAA conference by Ben T. Plymale, then vicepresident and general manager of the Rockets and Missiles Division of Boeing. MDD followed suit, with a 1975 proposed DC-10 conversion illustrated below. It carried two missile larger than the Minuteman and based on the 93-inches configuration of MX. But already in 1973 the Aerospace Corporation had studied a large number of configurations of ICBM carriers and launchers. Four of them are illustrated below. But there were many more. I discovered traces of: again C-5s, heavy-lifts helicopters, rocket-equipped platforms, shuttle versions (Scott has this), towed gliders, airships, both traditional (both blimp and rigid by Goodyear) and hybrid, stretched versions of FB-111 and specialized versions of the B-1. The DoD wasn't so enthusiastic about the concept of an air-mobile ICBM but left open the door. The Carter administration closed it, at least until late 1978, when the concept resurfaced in the midst of the "decision process" on the basing mode for the MX. This time it was proposed as a carrier aircraft a stretched version of the AMST called C-1XA, carrying a single MX and able to air launch it. It was envisioned a fleet of 150 aircrafts dispersed between some 4600 airfields in CONUS.
Last air launched ICBM concept I know about is from 1981, early in the Reagan administration. The Townes Panel, convened to again offer counsel on the MX basing stated that the preferred one would a continously airborne patrol. In parallel, SecDef Weinberger endorsed a two-pronged air-basing. Short term a fleet of Cargo 747 or C-5 would shift the MX and their erector-launcher between airports. Long term, the missile would have been transported and launched in the air by a new Boeing-designed aircraft, the Big Bird, illustrated below. This was a huge beast, as you can see. It was propelled by four turboprops.
 

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Skybolt said:
Using airplanes (big and not so big ones) to carry or carry and launch ICBM has a rather long and winding story. I've not be able to find any such concepts at the very start of the ICBM history (sorry, no UAV carrying Minutemen), but already in 1964 the Aerospace Corporation (a sort of competitor of RAND) in its broad Golden Arrow study on the future of land-based ICBMs devised at least two concepts. The second I'll leave to another post since it is not strictly an ICBM launcher. The first was for a air transportable system, based on C-141 used to continously lifting two Minuteman complete with their erector-launchers from a base to another in the CONUS. Nothing happened and the ait-mobile ICBM seemed to fall out of fashion: the 1967 Strat-X study covered a lot of different options for basing ICBM, EXCLUDING the air-mobile one.
In 1973 the wind changed, under the influence of Gen. Otto Glasser, Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development, who had worked with the famous Gen. Schriever, father of many of the innovations within USAF. Actually Lockheed had designed and proposed in 1970 a C-5 based missile launcher carrying three Poseidons, called Greyhound, but Poseidons were Navy things...
Between 1973 and 1976 a score a proposals followed. The Boeing ones described above were presented in 1974 at an AIAA conference by Ben T. Plymale, then vicepresident and general manager of the Rockets and Missiles Division of Boeing. MDD followed suit, with a 1975 proposed DC-10 conversion illustrated below. It carried two missile larger than the Minuteman and based on the 93-inches configuration of MX. But already in 1973 the Aerospace Corporation had studied a large number of configurations of ICBM carriers and launchers. Four of them are illustrated below. But there were many more. I discovered traces of: again C-5s, heavy-lifts helicopters, rocket-equipped platforms, shuttle versions (Scott has this), towed gliders, airships, both traditional (both blimp and rigid by Goodyear) and hybrid, stretched versions of FB-111 and specialized versions of the B-1. The DoD wasn't so enthusiastic about the concept of an air-mobile ICBM but left open the door. The Carter administration closed it, at least until late 1978, when the concept resurfaced in the midst of the "decision process" on the basing mode for the MX. This time it was proposed as a carrier aircraft a stretched version of the AMST called C-1XA, carrying a single MX and able to air launch it. It was envisioned a fleet of 150 aircrafts dispersed between some 4600 airfields in CONUS.
Last air launched ICBM concept I know about is from 1981, early in the Reagan administration. The Townes Panel, convened to again offer counsel on the MX basing stated that the preferred one would a continously airborne patrol. In parallel, SecDef Weinberger endorsed a two-pronged air-basing. Short term a fleet of Cargo 747 or C-5 would shift the MX and their erector-launcher between airports. Long term, the missile would have been transported and launched in the air by a new Boeing-designed aircraft, the Big Bird, illustrated below. This was a huge beast, as you can see. It was propelled by four turboprops.
I'm liking that one with the 565 foot wingspan :eek: That's even wider that the Pelikan. Of course it doesn't touch the REST of the stats but oh well.
 

Skybolt

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And the Aerospace Corp. proposal from 1964 was even larger, but wasn't intended as an ICBM launcher. Later more on this (but no illustration, only specs, sigh)
 

Jemiba

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I thought about Fireflies question :
"The An22's payload would have been launched upwards?"
It seems to me, that the Antonov with the An-22R was the only one, considering
launching the missiles directly from the aircraft. All other proposals simply drop
them, so that the launching aircraft is quite a distance away during ignition.
AFAIK from submarines, the ICBM is launched using compressed air. Not suitable
for aircraft, I think, because there probably is quite an amount of recoil. Launching
it simply by igniting the rocket, seems not a good idea to me, either. Perhaps
dropping it vertically downwards ?
 

flateric

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Upwards, that's what I have read in several sources. Assuming An-22 fuselage diameter of 6 meters and R-27 height of 9,65 m, we can begin to swith on imagination. Seems that it looked a-la Boeing's 767-based Airborne Surveillance Testbed (AST) or three-hump camel...perhaps.
 

Skybolt

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The original 1970 Lockheed proposal for a missile launching C-5 was intended for firing Poseidons from tubes, like on subs. Naturally the USAF didn't like it (Poseidon, what is Poseidon???) ;D
 

Jemiba

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"...we can begin to swith on imagination"

It must have looked like ... a flying submarine, indeed ! :D
 

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Jemiba said:
I thought about Fireflies question :
"The An22's payload would have been launched upwards?"
It seems to me, that the Antonov with the An-22R was the only one, considering
launching the missiles directly from the aircraft. All other proposals simply drop
them, so that the launching aircraft is quite a distance away during ignition.
AFAIK from submarines, the ICBM is launched using compressed air. Not suitable
for aircraft, I think, because there probably is quite an amount of recoil. Launching
it simply by igniting the rocket, seems not a good idea to me, either. Perhaps
dropping it vertically downwards ?
Hmmm, the easiest way by far, but would need a redesign of the missile system IMO.
 

Archibald

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Skybolt said:
The original 1970 Lockheed proposal for a missile launching C-5 was intended for firing Poseidons from tubes, like on subs. Naturally the USAF didn't like it (Poseidon, what is Poseidon???) ;D
After all, if there's a hole on the roof of the aircraft, and another on the flour, ok. Problem would be keeping the flames of an ICBM away from the C-5 structure.. maybe a (long enough) retractable tube hanging below the Galaxy ?

What is the speed of a swallow loaded with a coconut ? :eek:

Crazy projects...
 

Skybolt

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Another problem would have been making the missile clear the aircraft fast enough to not smash in the vertical tail.
 

Jemiba

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At least this problem would have been solved by the An-22s twin fins, I think.
But the problem with blast of the rocket not ...
 

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Factory cutaway model of McDonnell Douglas C-10 airborne ballistic missile launch vehicle, ca. 1975. Note separate spherical compressed gas dewars for each launch tube ejector. I believe the blue section is pressurized and the green section is unpressurized. Not sure about the type of ICBMs: MX, Poseidon or something new and exciting? I hope somebody knows for sure.
 

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Thank you for your excellent comment! Here is a close-up of the cutaway section. Both photographs by SPF member Chad Slattery.
 

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circle-5 said:
[size=10pt][...]
Not sure about the type of ICBMs: MX, Poseidon or something new and exciting? I hope somebody knows for sure.
Skybolt said:
[...]
MDD followed suit, with a 1975 proposed DC-10 conversion illustrated below. It carried two missile larger than the Minuteman and based on the 93-inches configuration of MX. But already in 1973 the Aerospace Corporation had studied a large number of configurations of ICBM carriers and launchers. Four of them are illustrated below. But there were many more. [....]
 

hesham

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From; Стратегическое оружие будущего,

I repeat some drawings in clearer views,and something new.
 

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I repeat some drawings in clearer views,and something new.
Thanks hesham. What may not be obvious is 9.png shows the center section of a span loader.
 

sferrin

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Hang a pod with half a dozen Midgetmen on the Roc.
 

Bob H

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The bigbird had a 400' composite wing. Fuselage was semicircle section with MX filling the lower half. Vehicle would loiter off coast at 10K' for a month and dive for launch with pullup to almost vertical and launch. System was autonomous. Nuff said.
 

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Testing the waters with this post.

I have some old (ca early to mid-1980s) conceptual design documentation and some notes associated with unsolicited proposals from Lockheed to "base" M-X ICBMs (and alternatively, the then-proposed "Small ICBM" or "New Small Missile") on large amphibians (aka: seaplanes or flying boats). This was a mobile basing scheme for survivability at the time options like road-mobile and rail-mobile were being evaluated for the land-based M-X ICBM. The Lockheed work was not simply based just on expanding the C-130 HOW ("Hercules on Water") concept, but proposed a variety of innovative designs. The first pdf attached to this post shows three of the multiple hull concepts studied (very early conceptual design sketches). The second pdf shows the catamaran hull concept further refined under the "Triplex" proposal.

Unless someone out there has a burning desire to see lots of details, my intent is to clean-up some of the old photocopies of general design ideas and put them out in maybe two subsequent post. Enjoy!
 

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I had never realized the Midgetman missile was merely 35000 pounds in weight. Could have been dropped from a C-130.
 

Archibald

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The entire MX & basing & Midgetman issue sounds foolish to me.

I mean, in the British and French cases, SLBM got the final word...
- tactical nukes and airborne deterrent: died with WE.177, 1998 / languished with ASMP-A but at very small scale
- silo-based: GB had zilch, zero - France shut down Plateau d'Albion in 1996

Is it just me, or is the entire basing / MX / Midgetman saga is essentially - USAF never, ever accepting the SLBM had won the "deterrent war" ? Put otherwise - most expensive interservice rivalry, ever ?

Were there atempts at shutting down the US silo-based ICBM force / never replacing the Minuteman III ?
 

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2nd Installment on Lockheed ICBM-carrying seaplanes.

The first pdf attached to this post shows a late 1970s large anti-submarine warfare seaplane concept (note the four weapons bays, two in tandem on the upper side of each catamaran hull; the retracted MAD boom; and the nose-mounted probe for US Navy-style probe-and-drogue in-flight refueling). Visible also is the centerline-mounted hydro-ski, a key feature developed during hydrodynamic work refining the earlier C-130 HOW ("Hercules on Water") concept. Noteworthy is the awkward compromise of fitting the single hydro-ski to the twin-hull catamaran, which necessitated an excessively long support strut. Still, all-in-all a graceful design featuring a butterfly tail (aka: Vee-tail).

The second pdf shows the hull lines for one side of the twin-hull catamaran. Another key feature visible in these lofting lines that was also developed during hydrodynamic work refining the earlier C-130 HOW and subsequent Lockheed seaplanes is the hull "step". On catamarans the step planform was a quarter of an ellipse, and called an elliptic step. Hull steps break the downward Bernoulli suction force that would otherwise build up as he seaplane accelerated for takeoff. Early seaplane steps were simple lateral (perpendicular to the centerline) affairs that worked hydrodynamically, but were aerodynamic disasters. The elliptic step still achieved the hydrodynamic effect, but at lower aerodynamic losses.

These early seaplane exercises led in the early 1980 to design proposals for "mobile basing" M-X ICBMs (and a little later the then-proposed "Small ICBM" or "New Small Missile") on large seaplanes for survivability should the Soviets have launched a pre-emptive first-strike on US land-based ICBM missile fields. The third pdf shows a schematic of the three launch modes: air-launch, sea-launch, and ground-launch. For a time Lockheed called this the "Triplex".

The fourth pdf shows how notionally with a slightly delayed first-stage booster ignition, a "cold launch" (ejecting the missile from its launch tube using a gas generator at the base of the tube) would be tailored to have the lateral support pads (numerous pads that suspend the missile within the launch tube) land aft of the aircraft, and the booster's first-stage engine plume not impinge on the aircraft.

The fifth pdf illustrates how the heavy M-X missile drove the seaplane to a large size, and for many design options, six engines (turboprops shown on the option in this conceptual design sketch).

The sixth pdf illustrates the large seaplane cold-launching an M-X while sea-sitting.

The seventh and final pdf shows that in early 1983 Lockheed was reacting to the new option gaining momentum in some camps in Washington to scrap the huge multi-warhead M-X (a target that seemed to possibly invite pre-emptive first strikes) in favor of fielding a larger number of single warhead "Small ICBM" (aka: the "Midgetman"; a name from a less politically correct time in America!). This design sketch (the original is pencil on vellum, with faint lines and annotations) shows the earliest conceptual layout of an inboard profile featuring an offset cockpit cabin on one hull of the catamaran and large "rest quarters" aft of the missile bay (operational concepts described week-long missions with the seaplane sea-sitting for hours to days, and then moving to the next random spot of open ocean, sitting, moving, sitting...).
 

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3rd (and final? Do you want more?) installment on Lockheed ICBM-carrying seaplanes.

The first pdf attached to this post shows the cover art for a January 1984 report on ICBM carrying seaplanes (technically "amphibians" because they had full conventional landing gear for land CTOL operations, while classic flying boats could only come ashore on lashed-on "beaching gear" -- wheels on cradles that were for ground handling only, and not stressed for takeoff and landing ops). A large tee-tail, six-engine catamaran hull seaplane.

The second pdf is of a formal artist's rendition of a four-engine design option (a navy blue seaplane strikingly with US Air Force markings). In my view, it is a clunky, insensitive illustration (a pet peeve of mine that aircraft companies seemed to often staff their "art" departments with talented graphic artists that didn't have an eye for airplanes... nice clouds...hideous airplane...). Of note are the wingtip pods. The hint of inlets suggests they were to illustrate fan "propulsors", one of the many options proposed for sea-sitting "station keeping" to maintain the seaplane's proper orientation into the waves without running the main engines.

The third pdf shows a design option with a split vee-tail, of "forked tail". This dimensioned three-view drawing also shows how the heavy weight M-X multi-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile drove the seaplanes to mobile-base them to be huge aircraft. It features six large turboprop engines and at a wingspan of 251 feet. That span is 28 feet greater than that of the C-5A.

The fourth pdf shows another design option featuring a six-engine configured for upper-surface blowing to shorten takeoff and landing runs. Lower liftoff and approach speeds also dictated larger empennage surfaces and the visible double-hinged elevators and rudder. No dimensions are available, but the proportions and design details suggest this design option was a smaller aircraft sized for the "Small ICBM" competitor to the M-X.

The fifth pdf shows a large six-engine vee-tail design option to carry the M-X missile. Again, the heavy weight M-X drove the seaplanes to mobile-base them to be big aircraft. This design's 668,200 lb design weight comparing to the C-5A design weight of about 840,000 lb, and the operating weight empty (OWE) of 281,750 lb approaching the 380,000 lb OWE of the C-5A. Of note is the "swept" wing. That was done not to improve transonic aero performance (having a pedestrian cruise Mach of only 0.5), but to afford a better positioning of the missile in cruise flight and when erected for launch while sea-sitting on the catamaran hull.

The final, sixth pdf shows the sizing effect of designing around the "Small ICBM" competitor to the M-X. This dimensioned three-view shows a more compact design that has a wing span of only 132.5 ft, almost exactly the 132 ft span of a C-130. The OWE of 97,800 lb shows it to be about a third heavier than the 75,800 lb OWE of a standard C-130 (in large part due to the extra fuselage weight of the catamaran hull) while the design weight of 190,000 lb is only about 22% heavier than the 155,000 lb maximum takeoff gross weight of the basic C-130.
 

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