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Raytheon (General Dynamics) AGM-129 ACM

flateric

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Stuff that too late I've found at eBay already being sold to other eBayer, but it proves that AGM-129 scale drawings were released by GD. All my attempts to contact buyer went nowhere. Anyone happy to have those and can share/sell them?
 

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Orionblamblam

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The USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio has one on display, but it's suspended way up high and in the dark. But the Strategic Air & Space Museum in Nebraska has one right out in the open.



More/higher rez at the blog... http://up-ship.com/blog/
 

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flateric

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Scott, sincere thanks for these. ACM exaust was always a bit of mistery for me.
 

Trident

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I second that about the tailfin! Also, it is weird how GD seems to have taken a very different approach to stealth here than either Northrop or Lockheed - cylindrical fuselage, FSW, no edge alignment and no serrated panel lines. Although the nose is facetted, of course.
 

LowObservable

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The RCS design concentrates everything into one big spike on each side, normal to the centerline.

It's a low-altitude system, so they're thinking look-down radar. But if the radar is directly on the beam, guess what? No relative movement between the ground clutter and the target. Bye-bye Doppler!
 

SOC

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Planned carriage was 8 internally on B-52H and B-1B using a rotary launcher. The ACM was roughly the same length as the AGM-86B and therefore would not have fit on separate launchers in the B-1B's three bays. Rather, they'd have had to do the same thing planned for ALCM cariage: extend the bulkhead separating the two forward bays to accomodate the longer rotary launcher required for the missiles. The B-2 should've been able to carry 16 internally, 8 in each bay on rotary launchers, but I don't think this was ever proceeded with.

The B-1B never operationally received the capability to use either the AGM-86B or the AGM-129A, and remained restricted to gravity bombs and the AGM-69 while on nuclear alert.

Externally, the BUFF could fit six per ALCM pylon, for a theoretical max load of 20 ACMs. The B-1B initially was to fit 14 ACMs externally, but I believe the maximum external load was later reduced to 12. They were carried on special assemblies, with two missiles per pylon. I've got a picture somewhere of one of the early B-1Bs flying with all six external dual-missile pylons in place. The extra two missiles would have been carried on single pylons outboard of the middle pair of dual pylons. I'd assume the extra two were deleted to make both the BUFF and Bone each have a capacity for 20 ALCMs under START, or because they messed with the airflow into the engines.

This could be amusing:

http://www.dtic.mil/srch/doc?collection=t3&id=ADA152068
 

JFC Fuller

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I would love to see that picture!

FAS has photos of the B-1 rotary launcher and one of external pylons: http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/start1/text/stphotos-US.htm
 

quellish

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sealordlawrence said:
I would love to see that picture!

FAS has photos of the B-1 rotary launcher and one of external pylons: http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/start1/text/stphotos-US.htm

As far as I know, only one B-1 was ever set up for external pylons. That was the one flight testing the ACM at Edwards. I've seen one book that showed it fully loaded with ACMs on external stores - quite a sight to see! I believe it was "Rockwell B-1B: SAC's Last Bomber".
I, for one, would love to see the pylons on the B-1 brought back for conventional weapons. That could carry a lot of WCMDs.
The FAS photo doesn't really tell you much about how the ACMs fit into the pylon. The pylon itself was designed to have a lowered RCS. The B-1 outfitted with ACMs was scheduled at one point to do in flight RCS testing in Nevada, but it is unclear wether or not this ever actually happened.
 

Orionblamblam

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flateric said:
Just wonder if anyone has good scale drawings of the beast.

I have this:
agm129draw.gif

Which, admittedly, is not really "good." However, I'll soon visit the SAC Musuem in Omaha, and this time I intend to have a tape measure with me so I can get good measurements.
 

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a little question. where's the air intake ???
none of the drawings has an air intake although the acm has an jet engine
 

Trident

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NACA-style flush inlet on the ventral fuselage:

http://www.vectorsite.net/Ywacm_1b.jpg
 

quellish

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Trident said:
NACA-style flush inlet on the ventral fuselage:

http://www.vectorsite.net/Ywacm_1b.jpg


Last image on this page shows it fairly well:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/systems/acm-pics.htm
 

aim9xray

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Example on display in San Diego.
 

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SOC

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quellish said:
As far as I know, only one B-1 was ever set up for external pylons.

I think it might've been two? I recall hearing somewhere that there were two B-1Bs at Edwards specifically monitored as they were used to test the AGM-86B (internal) and AGM-129 (external) carriage configurations. They had to have some sort of antenna or aerial on their upper surfaces to make them visible on overhead imagery as well, much like the B-52G had the modified wing-fuselage joint.

This doesn't answer the question, but I just found it online and thought it was an interesting read: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/62xx/doc6257/doc07b-Entire.pdf
 

quellish

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SOC said:
quellish said:
As far as I know, only one B-1 was ever set up for external pylons.

I think it might've been two? I recall hearing somewhere that there were two B-1Bs at Edwards specifically monitored as they were used to test the AGM-86B (internal) and AGM-129 (external) carriage configurations. They had to have some sort of antenna or aerial on their upper surfaces to make them visible on overhead imagery as well, much like the B-52G had the modified wing-fuselage joint.

Maybe it was one each for ACM and ALCM? IIRC there was a "strake" across the top of the wing glove that was for monitoring, but I could be thinking of a Russian bomber.
 

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quellish said:
Maybe it was one each for ACM and ALCM? IIRC there was a "strake" across the top of the wing glove that was for monitoring, but I could be thinking of a Russian bomber.

That's apparently what it was. 84-0059 trialled the ALCM, 85-0068 trialled the ACM. They got antennas on their spines to mark them as cruise-missile capable. Also, apparently only four ACMs could be fitted on the internal launcher.
 

Orionblamblam

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Two things:
1: There *will* be good drawings made available of the AGM-129, thanks to developments today (thanks to you-know-who-you-are)
2: Huh. The thing is asymmetrical (more than just the offset ventral fin):
 

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Orionblamblam

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Preliminary work is underway to rationalize the available drawings (the ebay drawings referenced above) with photos of an actaul AGM-129. The drawings largely agree with both each other and with the photos, but there are some odd and notable differences.
 

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AeroFranz

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I'm really puzzled by the asymmetry. Was this thing supposed to be carried internally or externally?
The asymmetry might lead to better packaging?
 

SOC

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Both? I know the BUFF carried it externally, and the Bone would have done the same. I think both could also carry the missile internally in theory.
 

flateric

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both, yes

AeroFranz said:
Was this thing supposed to be carried internally or externally?
answer is just one click away!
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1905.msg116524.html#msg116524

from Jane's

AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile (United States), Obsolete systems - Offensive/defensive weapon systems

Type
Intermediate-range, air-launched, turbofan-powered, single-warhead cruise missile.

Development
The AGM-129A Global Shadow nuclear warhead Advanced Cruise Missile (ACM) entered development in 1983 with a contract won by General Dynamics (Hughes Missile Systems and now Raytheon Missile Systems). Originally a 'black' programme in the US known as Teal Dawn, the missile used a stealth structure with distinctive swept forward wings. This missile was planned as a replacement for the AGM-86 ALCM and to have longer range, improved accuracy, lower radar cross-section and lower infra-red signature. The AGM-129B was being developed in the late 1980s with a modified structure, software changes and a conventional warhead using a unitary HE warhead or submunitions; but the programme was terminated. Reports in 1997 suggested that a new version, designated AGM-129C Conventional Armed Cruise Missile (CACM), might be developed. The modifications were to have included differential GPS and a penetration warhead, but would have resulted in a considerably reduced maximum range. The AGM-129C version was not developed. In 2001 a mid-life upgrade programme was proposed, to provide a life extension until 2030, but this was not contracted. The AGM-129A was designed for carriage on the B-52H Stratofortress, B-1B Lancer and B-2A Spirit bomber aircraft, but the B-52H aircraft were the sole AGM-129A carriers. The B-52H could carry eight AGM-129 missiles on internal rotary launchers and a further 12 missiles on underwing pylons.
 

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AeroFranz said:
I'm really puzzled by the asymmetry. Was this thing supposed to be carried internally or externally?
The asymmetry might lead to better packaging?

That would be my guess... having the vertical tail offset means it can fold over to one side, and only have one joint instead of two (or a longer span). Having the wings offset vertically lets them fold inwards and lay on top of each other. Both of these help the missle fit into the space necessary to allow internal carriage.
 

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A first stab at new drawings. These are based on two apparently genuine AGM-129 three-views (which agree on some things, disagree on others) and photos of two on-display AGM-129's. This is just the first cut; the details need to be refined based on photos taken with a scale reference.
 

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flateric

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fuselage fairing over wing consoles moves up and down again after wings rotated for cruise flight, yes?
 

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The book "Just dummies": cruise missile testing in Canada by John Clearwater (University of Calgary Press) contains an interesting account of an AGM-129A Global Shadow crash, which, incidentally, also marked the very last cruise missile launch in Canada.

Source: http://books.google.fr/books?id=x1dL_4n8QcYC
 

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Colonial-Marine

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Have any more details ever been revealed about the AGM-129B? The one which was supposed to have a "special purpose" nuclear payload?

It seems like it would have made more sense to have fitted our AGM-129As with conventional warheads rather than just retiring them like they did.
 

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Colonial-Marine said:
It seems like it would have made more sense to have fitted our AGM-129As with conventional warheads rather than just retiring them like they did.

The USAF and DOD were trying to push JASSM at any cost, even though it was (and still is) a dog.
 

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Grey Havoc said:
Colonial-Marine said:
It seems like it would have made more sense to have fitted our AGM-129As with conventional warheads rather than just retiring them like they did.

The USAF and DOD were trying to push JASSM at any cost, even though it was (and still is) a dog.

Why would the USAF and DOD want a crap weapon?
 

Grey Havoc

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Ah, that is the question. I'll try and be charitable and just say JASSM was seen as a 'transformational system', much better than that 'cold war stuff we don't need anymore', at least in the fevered imaginations of certain decision makers.
 

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Grey Havoc said:
Ah, that is the question. I'll try and be charitable and just say JASSM was seen as a 'transformational system', much better than that 'cold war stuff we don't need anymore', at least in the fevered imaginations of certain decision makers.

That doesn't answer the question. I didn't ask how or why the program originated, I asked why would the USAF and DoD want a crap weapon? So why would they?
 

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Because in the eyes of the 'cult of Transformation', that controlled the DOD and the Armed services until recently (and which still has an unhealthy amount of influence, IMO), the JASSM was 'Transformational' and therefore perfect. No matter that everyone else could see it was a major disappointment at best, and a hideous disaster at worst. Remember, to the disciples of Transformation tenets such as 'COTS is best', 'Systems are Important, platforms don't matter', 'It's no longer the Cold War, get over it', 'Armor?, who needs it', and 'Faster, Cheaper, Better', were matters of holy writ, and to hell what what history and anyone else had to say about it. :mad:
 

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Grey Havoc said:
Ah, that is the question. I'll try and be charitable and just say JASSM was seen as a 'transformational system', much better than that 'cold war stuff we don't need anymore', at least in the fevered imaginations of certain decision makers.

JASSM is transformational. Apart from being much cheaper and much smaller so it can be used by strike fighters (compared to ACM) it has an optical seeker and a data link. This means it can loiter over a target area networked back to the launcher (or others) who can reassign targets, approve an attack, ID a complex target etc. Then of course there is the little issue of not carrying a nuclear warhead to the target. Which, General Jack D. Ripper apart, I'm sure all of us agree is a much better approach for most combat situations. BTW replacing a nuclear warhead with conventional is not as simple as bolt out and bolt in. Size does matter.
 

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Grey Havoc said:
Because in the eyes of the 'cult of Transformation', that controlled the DOD and the Armed services until recently (and which still has an unhealthy amount of influence, IMO), the JASSM was 'Transformational' and therefore perfect. No matter that everyone else could see it was a major disappointment at best, and a hideous disaster at worst. Remember, to the disciples of Transformation tenets such as 'COTS is best', 'Systems are Important, platforms don't matter', 'It's no longer the Cold War, get over it', 'Armor?, who needs it', and 'Faster, Cheaper, Better', were matters of holy writ, and to hell what what history and anyone else had to say about it. :mad:

If it were a crap weapon they'd cancel it and start over. And I presumed you knew JASSM came from problems with the TSSAM not AGM-129.
 

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sferrin said:
I asked why would the USAF and DoD want a crap weapon? So why would they?

I think he's referring to the problems that dogged JASSM development -- to the point that it didn't get approved for IOC until 2009.
 

Grey Havoc

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RyanCrierie said:
I think he's referring to the problems that dogged JASSM development -- to the point that it didn't get approved for IOC until 2009.

Problems which for the most part still haven't been resolved. It's not just quality control problems with components and assemblies, the design itself is flawed. They cut far too many corners in their quest for a 'cheap' transformational weapon.



sferrin said:
If it were a crap weapon they'd cancel it and start over. And I presumed you knew JASSM came from problems with the TSSAM not AGM-129.

Yes, but the AGM-129 was scrapped to preclude the possibility (or indeed likelyhood) that Congress would demand that JASSM be replaced with a conventional version of it.



Abraham Gubler said:
JASSM is transformational. Apart from being much cheaper and much smaller so it can be used by strike fighters (compared to ACM) it has an optical seeker and a data link. This means it can loiter over a target area networked back to the launcher (or others) who can reassign targets, approve an attack, ID a complex target etc. Then of course there is the little issue of not carrying a nuclear warhead to the target. Which, General Jack D. Ripper apart, I'm sure all of us agree is a much better approach for most combat situations. BTW replacing a nuclear warhead with conventional is not as simple as bolt out and bolt in. Size does matter.

If the AGM-158 is so much cheaper and better, then why, for example, does the Australian government still have it on it's list of, ah, 'distressed' programs. The fact that they (DOD/USAF) pressed ahead with development of the ER version before problems with the baseline version were even remotely close to being resolved is not the sort of thing that inspires confidence.

And, as for 'size does matter', true. It's especially true in regards to the fact the smaller the payload space and mass available for a conventional warhead, the more expensive and less flexible it tends to become. And I don't share your belief that you can do without a nuclear option for such a missile in the first place.
 

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