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MIM-3 Nike Ajax

Rosdivan

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DEVELOPMENT, PRODUCTION, AND DEPLOYMENT OF THE NlKE AJAX GUIDED MISSILE SYSTEM

While reading through the above document, I came across this chart, which I presume to be a chart of intercept envelope. Why would the first line simply stop as abruptly as it does at the 15km mark? A typographic error? Also, why is the altitude as low as it is? Test shots reached to 140,000 feet and other sources indicate the envelope extended up to 60,000 feet. Is that just a difference between development goal and actual capability or something else?
 

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sferrin

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Rosdivan said:
DEVELOPMENT, PRODUCTION, AND DEPLOYMENT OF THE NlKE AJAX GUIDED MISSILE SYSTEM

While reading through the above document, I came across this chart, which I presume to be a chart of intercept envelope. Why would the first line simply stop as abruptly as it does at the 15km mark? A typographic error? Also, why is the altitude as low as it is? Test shots reached to 140,000 feet and other sources indicate the envelope extended up to 60,000 feet. Is that just a difference between development goal and actual capability or something else?

Could be almost anything. One I heard of (different missile) was "the batteries only last X number of seconds" after which the missile goes stupid. Had nothing to do with performance. Maybe the liquid fuel tanks are pressurized and the pressure differential will cause problems (you'll notice on the longer range shots it can go higher. Maybe because the tanks have emptied some?)
 

Speedy

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Hi
(sorry for my poor english)
Rosdivan said:
Why would the first line simply stop as abruptly as it does at the 15km mark? A typographic error?

I don't know how exactly we must interpreted this chart. Second curve also stop "in air" - why? I think the limit is rocket ability to maneuver and target intercepting. AA rocket could maneuver when engine burn and some time after burnout, when rocket still flight fast, driven by inertia. Maybe when rocket climb so fast and sharp as on 1st curve, the fuel is exhausted on relatively short distance (of course burnout time is the same, regardless of trajectory inclination). And more vertically climbing rocket also in relatively short time lost his kinetic energy and capability to maneuvering...? On 2nd curve rocket flight on more flat trajectory and could "gliding" some distance after engine burnout and retain maneuver capability by a little longer time.

Rosdivan said:
Also, why is the altitude as low as it is? Test shots reached to 140,000 feet and other sources indicate the envelope extended up to 60,000 feet. Is that just a difference between development goal and actual capability or something else?

I think the first number, 140 000 ft (about 42 km) this is a maximum ceiling that could be reached by rocket, regardless of maneuver capability. The second, 60 000 ft (18 km) is a maximum interception ceiling, where rocket retain sufficient amount of kinetic energy for maneuvers needed for target interception. It is only slightly more than 2nd curve on this chart.
 

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