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Sparrow-X: Nuclear Sparrow

overscan (PaulMM)

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The designation XAAM-N-9 Sparrow X was allocated to a proposed nuclear-armed Sparrow derivative in 1958 with a low-yield W-42 fission warhead. However, this proposal was short-lived and the Sparrow X was cancelled early in the design stage.

http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-7.html

Length: 130"
Diameter: 14.8"
Span: 44"
Weight: 824.7lb
Warhead: Fractional kiloton warhead (120lb)
Guidance: Sparrow III seeker
Range: 6miles @ sea level, 25 miles @ altitude
Lockon range for radar: 20 miles
Altitude: up to 80,000 ft

Source:
C.M. Hanson: "Characteristics of Strategic, Tactical and Research Missiles", Convair San Diego, 1954/58
http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/AD388603
 

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alertken

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US and UK did many studies, 1957-60 on nuke SAMs. UK (Bloodhound 1 3/4 Blue Envoy) lost interest, in part due overload on AWRE, and in part due to (?RO? poisoning -) first detonation fairly profoundly screws the rest. A factor in limited deployment of W-40-armed BOMARCs and in UK disinterest in nuke AAMs.
 

pathology_doc

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It always struck me that anyone who puts a SARH homing head on a nuke AAM, even a fractional-yield one, isn't saying much about the chances of the fighter pilot in the nuclear-exchange environment. Either he's never going to get home anyway, or they're anticipating no home for him to go to. (Nuclear Talos or Terrier were another matter, of course - the ship wasn't chasing hard on the heels of its missile, as it were.) Perhaps they realized that was the problem with AIM-26 (whose range isn't all that great IIRC), and figured it was better to have a vehicle that could go a fair distance before it went off.
 

sferrin

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pathology_doc said:
It always struck me that anyone who puts a SARH homing head on a nuke AAM, even a fractional-yield one, isn't saying much about the chances of the fighter pilot in the nuclear-exchange environment. Either he's never going to get home anyway, or they're anticipating no home for him to go to. (Nuclear Talos or Terrier were another matter, of course - the ship wasn't chasing hard on the heels of its missile, as it were.) Perhaps they realized that was the problem with AIM-26 (whose range isn't all that great IIRC), and figured it was better to have a vehicle that could go a fair distance before it went off.

If you think AIM-26 was short-ranged how about Genie? :eek: (BTW they did do a LIVE FIRE with a Genie and the pilot survived just fine. If I was him I'd have been asking for a BIG bonus on payday.)
 

pathology_doc

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At least Genie is unguided and hence independent of the fighter - once you have pulled the trigger and seen it leave, you are free to Split-S, light full burners and get the hell out of Dodge. ;D
 

Rosdivan

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I don't see a problem with it being SARH, I'd be more concerned with surviving it at sea level with only 6 miles range.
 

sferrin

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pathology_doc said:
At least Genie is unguided and hence independent of the fighter - once you have pulled the trigger and seen it leave, you are free to Split-S, light full burners and get the hell out of Dodge. ;D

Good point. Hadn't thought of that. ;) "Okay you need to launch this nuke- and keep flying towards it until it hits it's target. Then feel free to turn."
 

Hood

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I came across Sparrow X in a file at Kew (AVIA 54/2069 Guided Weapon Research: Guidance and Control).
It contains a description of a visit to the USA during September-October 1957, several missile and radar manufacturers were visited.

Sparrow X was briefly described (specs as of July 57); intended for launch from Mach 2-Mach 3 aircraft to engage a M2.0 target. Weight 850lbs; length 11.5ft; span 46in; diameter 14.8in; range 30-35nm; 50,000ft altitude and either a HE or nuclear warhead.
I include these specs here, as these are probably an earlier or different design study to that posted by Paul initially.

AAGW was described as a Sparrow X with a 450lb booster for engaging a low-level M1.0 target at 50 miles or a high-level M1.0+ target at 70 miles, would use a 2000W transmitter.
 

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