Raytheon (General Dynamics) AGM-129 ACM

sferrin

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Grey Havoc said:
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.

Sounds like a conspiracy theory to me. They're not even in the same class. It'd be like saying the reason they got rid of the F-111 was to make sure the B-2 got built.



Grey Havoc said:
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.

The smaller the space for a warhead the more expensive it becomes? Are you serious?
 

Grey Havoc

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sferrin said:
Sounds like a conspiracy theory to me. They're not even in the same class. It'd be like saying the reason they got rid of the F-111 was to make sure the B-2 got built.

Maybe not as far fetched as you think. Look up Thirsty Saber/ Thirsty Warrior to see some of what could be done with the basic AGM-129 design.


The smaller the space for a warhead the more expensive it becomes? Are you serious?

Deadly. The payload budget available to missiles and bombs is usually constrained, even more so in recent years during the time it was fashionable to include sensors and guidance system components as part of the payload rather than integrate them into the missile body, reducing the amount of space/mass available for the actual warhead, not to mention other potential payload items such as decoys.

This means that warhead components, including the explosive filler in most conventional warheads, needs to be ever more compact, which in turn leads to increased design, production and maintenance costs. As a general rule of thumb, the more 'energetic' an explosive filler is, the more expensive it is. Octol, which is used in both conventional and nuclear weapons, is a good example. However just because you have a lighter and/or more powerful explosive filler doesn't automatically mean that you will be able to have a smaller warhead, for example, the geometry of a particular shaped charge or charges in a warhead may require more space.

Now, to complicate matters a bit further, lately there has more research into less energetic explosive fillers, for use in weapons intended to reduce collateral damage. Unfortunately, the charges using these fillers tend to be bulkier and heavier than those using higher yield explosives, requiring a bigger payload budget. Hence, part of my remark about smaller warheads being less flexible.
 

Orionblamblam

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The wings of the AGM-129 are odd. Three display units all show weird discontinuities on the leading edge. Below are photos of the Strategic Air & Space Museum example.
 

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quellish

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Orionblamblam said:
The wings of the AGM-129 are odd. Three display units all show weird discontinuities on the leading edge. Below are photos of the Strategic Air & Space Museum example.

Well, you could always build your own:
"DESIGN CONTROL REFERENCE: 40A12434-4
MANUFACTURERS CODE: 14170
III END ITEM IDENTIFICATION: AGM-129 ADVANCED CRUISE MISSILE (PACER SPECIAL)
CRITICALITY CODE JUSTIFICATION: FEATG"
 

Stargazer2006

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Orionblamblam said:
The wings of the AGM-129 are odd. Three display units all show weird discontinuities on the leading edge. Below are photos of the Strategic Air & Space Museum example.
Ouch. Either it's lousy craftsmanship, or it's got some radar-evading properties that we don't know about...
 

Grey Havoc

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Stargazer2006 said:
Orionblamblam said:
The wings of the AGM-129 are odd. Three display units all show weird discontinuities on the leading edge. Below are photos of the Strategic Air & Space Museum example.
Ouch. Either it's lousy craftsmanship, or it's got some radar-evading properties that we don't know about...

Alternatively it may have been deliberately damaged as a security measure to conceal design principles and the like.
 

flateric

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I guess that they were simply damaged during transporting
 

RanulfC

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Orionblamblam said:
The wings of the AGM-129 are odd. Three display units all show weird discontinuities on the leading edge. Below are photos of the Strategic Air & Space Museum example.
Most likely it's bad quality putty jobs and manufacturing. The wings aren't "real" and are probably made out of wood.

Randy
 

aim9xray

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III END ITEM IDENTIFICATION: AGM-129 ADVANCED CRUISE MISSILE (PACER SPECIAL)"

Hmmm. Pacer - that's an AFLC/AFMC prefix, isn't it?
 

Orionblamblam

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RanulfC said:
The wings aren't "real" and are probably made out of wood.

I don't know if the wings on display were meant to fly, but they are certainly more "real" than simple wood. A photo taken of the innards of the missile show that the wing is attached to the pivot mechanism in what seems to be a proper way, and is made of an aluminum honeycomb structure with a thick outer layer of something that looks like grainy Bakelite. Photos of an AGM-129 wing cross-section that made its way to ebay some years back confirm that this is the basic construction of the wing.
 

RanulfC

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Orionblamblam said:
RanulfC said:
The wings aren't "real" and are probably made out of wood.

I don't know if the wings on display were meant to fly, but they are certainly more "real" than simple wood. A photo taken of the innards of the missile show that the wing is attached to the pivot mechanism in what seems to be a proper way, and is made of an aluminum honeycomb structure with a thick outer layer of something that looks like grainy Bakelite. Photos of an AGM-129 wing cross-section that made its way to ebay some years back confirm that this is the basic construction of the wing.
They may be attached "properly" but they shouldn't be real wings because the coating flakes with a lot of handling and the dust is considered hazerdous. We recently built and test fitted about a dozen wings from wood that were shipped out to various displays around the country along with a couple of "new" display models. IF those are still "real" wings (and the description fits) then its probably a test model that slipped through before they tightened up the safety requirements on the coating. In which case if you can SEE the honeycomb then the wings are damaged beyond repair and it MAY have been done to satisfy "demilitarization" standards. We have to cut ours not only for de-mil but also to fit them into the hazerdous waste barrles for shipping.

Randy
 

flateric

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B-1B ACM pylon photo from SALT-1 documentation + some cross-postings (I guess three color photos are from excellent Don Logan's 'Rockwell B-1B: SAC's Last Bomber', Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN #: 0887406661 - one of two best books on Bone)
 

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flateric

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nice personal muzzle she has
photo (c) Paul Shambroom
 

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RanulfC

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bobbymike said:
flateric said:
nice personal muzzle she has
photo (c) Paul Shambroom

Well she was to have a 200kt "bite" behind that muzzle :D
The "kt" bite isn't the one you're worried about :)

You get the most interesting "bruises" (no skin penatrations I'm aware of, but tell that the the mucles that you rammed through to hit a bone :) ) when working around those nose cones. Sitting on the moblie maintenance stands that nose tip sits right around arse-cheek level :)

Randy
 

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Orionblamblam said:
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.

before they hung it up in the dark, they did take some nice photos. Here's one:
 

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flateric

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http://goo.gl/VlZNg


Here's a great item from the "glory years" of General Dynamics Corporation when it was atop the Defense Industry World. It's the ACM or "Advanced Cruise Missile" Sign that sat above the entrance to Building 5 of Plant 19 near Lindbergh Airport in San Diego, California. There isn't much left from those days but this sign is a great memento of them and it is reasonably priced - So get your bid in now and win it.
 

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flateric

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still wonder what could be purpose of this ovals pattern under the nozzle
some sensors?
 

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quellish

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flateric said:
still wonder what could be purpose of this ovals pattern under the nozzle
some sensors?

Could be exhaust mixers. Darkstar had something similar.
 

Deino

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Found in a Chinese forum yesterday ....
 

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Colonial-Marine

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It's always comforting when you see the Chinese have better photos of our own equipment than we do.
 

Stargazer2006

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flateric said:
All these you could find a while ago in hi-res at
www​.defenseimagery.mil/

But how could we know if no-one ever shared them?

This is also an absolute first for me!
 

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flateric

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Well, many things disappeared after www​.defenseimagery.mil redesign and moving to new servers, like those dangerous Hard Mobile Launcher photos, not talking that new search engine took minutes to make things previous one took seconds to do.

And now whole site just not accessible.

Good job, Pentagon PR. Senator Wolf sends you rays of likes.
 

quellish

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Obviously missing many things, but may be helpful to some. Classified variant mentioned here is most likely non-nuclear but may not be conventional.
 

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F-14D

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flateric said:
Well, many things disappeared after www​.defenseimagery.mil redesign and moving to new servers, like those dangerous Hard Mobile Launcher photos, not talking that new search engine took minutes to make things previous one took seconds to do.

And now whole site just not accessible.

Good job, Pentagon PR. Senator Wolf sends you rays of likes.

Government is sometimes like Engineers: It strives to improve something to the point where it no longer works.
 

aim9xray

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quellish said:
Obviously missing many things, but may be helpful to some. Classified variant mentioned here is most likely non-nuclear but may not be conventional.
A classified variant in a black (dark gray) program? Kewl!
 

flateric

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from ePay. too much $$$ for average ACM fan though
 

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Hank58

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Orionblamblam said:
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.

before they hung it up in the dark, they did take some nice photos. Here's one:
Actually, before they hung it from the ceiling, it was displayed on the floor with easy up-close access. I'll look around for them, but I remember taking photos of it with my son in tow. He was maybe five at the time, which means it was around 1993 or 1994. As for the odd leading edge irregularities, I know the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton at Wright-Patterson AFB took great pains in those days to "sanitize" sensitive displays. When they put their F-117 on display, I was told by an individual working at the base then that key aspects of wing leading edge geometry were changed to invalidate measurements made by museum "visitors" who might have had professional interest in gathering insights on the evolution of LO technologies for their "handlers".
 

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Guys, do we have RCS estimates for this missile?
One Russian source I read says it's 0.02..0.05 m² (X-band), but this could be based on imprecise mock-up.
 

quellish

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From Leonard Nicolai, "Lessons Learned: A Guide to Improved Aircraft Design"
Author was TEAL DAWN program manager

The decision for forward sweep instead of aft sweep was due to several factors. The wing leading edge RCS spike bounced off the forward fuse- lage (absorbing energy due to the local RAM coating) and reflected away from the threat radar. The wing carry through used the same struc- ture as the forward carriage lug (saved weight and cost). The X-29 for- ward sweep wing demonstrator was being developed in DARPA at the same time and provided advanced composite tailoring information to minimize the wing weight increase due to aeroelastic divergence

In 1982 the USAF awarded Convair a contract to develop their TEAL DAWN design as the AGM-129 ACM. The Convair design (shown in Fig. 10.2) featured a chiseled nose for +/− 25-deg forward sector low RCS, a flush inlet to eliminate the inlet RF reflection back to the threat, forward swept wings to reflect the wing leading edge RCS spike away from the threat, and an upper surface ramp over the nozzle to hide the exhaust IR from look-down airborne interceptors. The plan was to have the AGM-129 replace the 1715 AGM-86Bs.

When production stopped in 1991 they did not have a credible design for a conventional warhead variant. The USAF tried to get funding to develop a conventional variant, but the GAO did not see that as a good way to spend sparse military dollars...and besides, the USAF had the AGM-86C/Ds.
 

quellish

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III END ITEM IDENTIFICATION: AGM-129 ADVANCED CRUISE MISSILE (PACER SPECIAL)"

Hmmm. Pacer - that's an AFLC/AFMC prefix, isn't it?

“PACER SPECIAL” seems to be used for LO components of other programs as well, I.e. the B-2. Special logistics for special projects.
 

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