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Unguided anti-aircraft weapons

cluttonfred

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Not long ago I learned about the Fliegerfaust or Luftfaust WWII German anti-aircraft multi-barreled rocket launchers, which piqued my curiosity. Does anyone know of any other prototypes or projects for unguided anti-aircraft weapons, not tradional anti-aircraft guns but other novel attempts, whether man portable or not?

Cheers,

Matthew
 

sferrin

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There was one where rockets were to be launched in mass trailing long wires for bombers to run into but I don't recall the name of it. Some German WWII design as I recall.
 

Pelzig

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This would be the Kurzzeitsperre. But it was not intended to be used against heavy, high-flying bombers. It was a installation defense system to deter (and destroy) low flying, strafing aircraft. Projectors were set in the ground 30 yards apart and electrically fired upon approach of the attacker. Each rocket flew to a height of 1,000 meters, trailing a length of hard steel wire 1.8mm wide and .7mm thick. One end of the wire was attached to the projector tube and upon reaching the max height, the round burst, releasing a parachute, slowing the decent of the wire at 5m per second.

The intent was that if a plane should fly into the wires, they would wrap themselves around the wing, prop, etc. and cut through.

Rheinmetall-Borsig was the maker. It was deployed on a limited basis but no planes were known to have been downed by the system. Of course, the point of it was to prevent an attack on the installation or airfield in the first place. No sane pilot was going to risk flying through the wires.

A mortar fired version was developed as well, but only reached a 300 meter height.

sferrin said:
There was one where rockets were to be launched in mass trailing long wires for bombers to run into but I don't recall the name of it. Some German WWII design as I recall.
 

Pelzig

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Föhn was a anti-aircraft, unguided rocket system that had 35 racks firing a 7.3cm Raketen Sprenggranat, spin-stabilized rocket. The racks could be elevated and traversed via a simple mechanism with a rudimentary sight.

A few of them got into battle, some being used by the 900th. Flak Training & Testing Battalion that had some installed along the Rhine to defend important bridges. There was also a mobile version, mounted on a two-wheeled trailer. More often than not, those used in combat were in the ground-to-ground bombardment role rather than their intended purpose.
 

red admiral

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There was also Taifun which was an unguided rocket to be launched in salvoes. It had liquid and solid fuelled versions. The picture is from the missile collection at RAF Cosford.
 

Rickshaw

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There have been occasional attempts to revive the idea of unguided AA weapons. The French started development of the Javelot AA rocket system which consisted of numerous rockets with a simple detection radar system on an turret mounted on an AMX-30 hull.

Another interesting and passive system was the British developed Barricade barrage balloon system of the 1980s. It consisted of several small boxes positioned around the perimeter of an airbase, which contained a small Helium balloon which trailed a long, steel cable. When an air attack was imminent the balloons were activated and filled with Helium, rising from the box several hundred metres into the air - the idea was to deter and make low-level air attacks difficult. Apparently at least one Middle-Eastern airforce purchased them (Oman perhaps?).
 

cluttonfred

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rickshaw said:
Another interesting and passive system was the British developed Barricade barrage balloon system of the 1980s. It consisted of several small boxes positioned around the perimeter of an airbase, which contained a small Helium balloon which trailed a long, steel cable. When an air attack was imminent the balloons were activated and filled with Helium, rising from the box several hundred metres into the air - the idea was to deter and make low-level air attacks difficult. Apparently at least one Middle-Eastern airforce purchased them (Oman perhaps?).

This is an interesting a concept, a bit like a smaller version of the more traditional barrage balloons. I wonder if anyone ever carried it to the logical next step of tightly spaced balloons and cables, or even ballon-supported nets, to make an aerial equivalent of old-fashioned torpedo nets. Even if only they only partially obstructed approaches to the target, the could force any low-level attack through choke points for the benefit of the AA defenses. Of course, such a system would be a very serious hazard to friendly forces as well.
 

tom!

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Hi.

IJA developed and used special barrage mortars (70 mm and 80 mm caliber) which fired projectiles filled with 5 - 7 time fused HE charges hanging on parachutes. The mortars were simple. The barrels were attached to wooden blocks which had a spike on the opposite site to be rammed into the ground. Maximum firing height was 700 m. To lower the ceiling the mortars had to be fired in a lower angle. When reaching maximum range a parachute attached to the projectile opened and released the charges. The time fuses were started by shock when the projectile was fired (firing pin was mounted fixed in the barrel).

By shooting several mortars dozends of exploding charges were placed in the flight path of the aircraft. Hits were more or less lucky shots but main issue was to disturb the aiming pilot.

From Taki´s website:




Yours

tom! ;)
 

Orionblamblam

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Bah! These are all pipsqueak stuff. For the very best in unguided antiaircraft weapons, look no further than the Douglas MB-1/AIR-2 Genie. Unguided, but with a 1.5 kiloton nuclear warhead.
 

Grzesio

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Unguided AA weapons were pretty popular in the WW2 era.
Germans built or designed a number of them some were already mentioned: at least four types of Kurzzeitsperre wire barrage rockets in calibres from 8,6 to 21 cm (made by Rh-B and Krupp), then Fliegerschreck, Fliegerfaust/Luftfaust, Foehn, Flakrakete 42, Feuerwerk, Maikaefer, Orkan against low to medium altitude targets, plus Taifun, Tornado, two types of Rheinkind, 10,5 cm Fla-Rakete against high altitude targets. And more. A whole Planet project was to develop more or less unguided AA rockets carrying subprojectiles.
In the USSR there was a wire barrage version of the later Katyusha rocket developed under designation RZS-132, already in 1930s. During the WW2 very few specially designed Katyusha rocket launchers (with regular rockets, though) were operationally tested, achieving one or two kills.
British Navy and AA defense used several variants of UP rockets, both wire barrage and HE (including optical proximity fuzes).

Regards

Grzesio
 

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I am going to be preemptive here... No, the "Flakmine" was not a real project for a ww2 german unguided AA weapon, it is in fact a design by Justo Miranda.
 

Rickshaw

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Mole said:
rickshaw said:
Another interesting and passive system was the British developed Barricade barrage balloon system of the 1980s. It consisted of several small boxes positioned around the perimeter of an airbase, which contained a small Helium balloon which trailed a long, steel cable. When an air attack was imminent the balloons were activated and filled with Helium, rising from the box several hundred metres into the air - the idea was to deter and make low-level air attacks difficult. Apparently at least one Middle-Eastern airforce purchased them (Oman perhaps?).

This is an interesting a concept, a bit like a smaller version of the more traditional barrage balloons. I wonder if anyone ever carried it to the logical next step of tightly spaced balloons and cables, or even ballon-supported nets, to make an aerial equivalent of old-fashioned torpedo nets. Even if only they only partially obstructed approaches to the target, the could force any low-level attack through choke points for the benefit of the AA defenses. Of course, such a system would be a very serious hazard to friendly forces as well.

In WWI (and I suspect WWII), I know the British did deploy nets strung between barrage balloons. If you can find the book, "The First Battle of Britain" which is about the German air offensive against the UK during WWI, there are several pictures of them.
 

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The balloon concept was revived by al-Qaida, at least as an idea; IIRC plans were found for one in 2001 - this would be a small balloon trailing a long wire for planes to run into.
 

Wurger

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Hi Grzesio :),

Germans built or designed a number of them some were already mentioned: at least four types of Kurzzeitsperre wire barrage rockets in calibres from 8,6 to 21 cm (made by Rh-B and Krupp), then Fliegerschreck, Fliegerfaust/Luftfaust, Foehn, Flakrakete 42, Feuerwerk, Maikaefer, Orkan against low to medium altitude targets, plus Taifun, Tornado, two types of Rheinkind, 10,5 cm Fla-Rakete against high altitude targets. And more. A whole Planet project was to develop more or less unguided AA rockets carrying subprojectiles.

Can you please disclosure more on the "Feuerwerk", "Maikäfer", the "10,5cm Fla-Rakete" and the "Planet" project? I know this last one was on a vast range of small rockets, some of them to be carried in a V-2.
 

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Not too much, sadly.
Feuerwerk was to be a 400 kg fin stabilized rocket.
Maikaefer is a little bit confusing thing - but it apparently was a short range spin stabilized rocket with 31 cm calibre ( http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=70&p=1294808 ).
10,5 cm Fla-Rakete seems to be a project of the Skoda works, 19 kg heavy rocket reaching 700 m/s. If you remember photos of a multirail rocket launcher mounted on the 8,8 cm Flak L/56 carriage - it is identified as the 10,5 cm RW. But I'm not 100 per cent sure, if there's no confusion with the Taifun.

Regards

Grzesio
 

Wurger

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Super :D,
Thanks!
Regarding the "Planet" project?
 

Justo Miranda

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Cobra Kebab said:
I am going to be preemptive here... No, the "Flakmine" was not a real project for a ww2 german unguided AA weapon, it is in fact a design by Justo Miranda.



Justo Miranda design????
Please see Luftfahrt International-9/quote]
 

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Justo Miranda

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Kriegsmarine "Kurhessen" antiaircraft steel wire rocket here
 

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Justo Miranda

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Kriegsmarine "Kurhessen" antiaircraft steel wire rocket here
 

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Justo Miranda

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RSK 1000 "Kurtzeitsperre" here
 

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Justo Miranda

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German antiaircraft steel wire rockets here
 

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Justo Miranda

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The British system ...
 

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Justo Miranda

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Hs 217 "Föhn"
 

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Justo Miranda

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7.3 cm "Föhn Gerät"
 

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Justo Miranda

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Kriegsmarine "See Föhn"
 

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Natter "Wabenbewaffnug Föhn"
 

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Three tubes "bazooka style" Hand-Föhn
 

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Wurger

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Hi Justo :),

you can`t stop spoiling us, do you ;D?

Some of this I didn`t know. Thanks for sharing.
 

Justo Miranda

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"Fliegerschreck" text and hypothetical drawing
 

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tom!

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Hi.

Japanese 12 cm aa-rocket system.

Until 1944 IJN designed and introduced an unguided 12 cm short-range air defence system which fired up to 28 time-fused 12 cm incendary shrapnel rockets within 20 seconds.


(from www.navweaps.com)

The rockets were fired in pairs or as 14 rockets sets from special launchers with 28 barrels. The time fuses could be set to explode the grenade at 1000 or 1500 m. Until late 1944 all remaining larger carriers were equipped with at least 6 launchers. Fire control was the same as used for the light aa-guns.

Two pictures of the launcher can be found here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6390.0

Yours

tom! ;)
 

Justo Miranda

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"Luftfaust-A" , four barrels of 2 cm. caliber
 

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sferrin

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Justo Miranda said:
7.3 cm "Föhn Gerät"

I don't suppose that bottom picture is out of the back of a volume of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare is it? ;)
 

Justo Miranda

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"Luftfaust-B" , nine barrels of 2 cm. caliber
Post-1
 

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Justo Miranda

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"Luftfaust-B" , nine barrels of 2 cm. caliber
Post-2
 

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Justo Miranda

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"Fliegerfaust" (no drawing) the same basic design of the "Luftfaust-B" but featured six barrels of Mk 108 3 cm. caliber ammo.
 

Justo Miranda

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German standard ammo of 20 an 30 mm.
 

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Justo Miranda

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sferrin said:
Justo Miranda said:
7.3 cm "Föhn Gerät"

I don't suppose that bottom picture is out of the back of a volume of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare is it? ;)

Souce of pic "Escanear 0003"
unknown to me . I have photocopy only.
Souce of pic "Escanear 0001"
out of print book "German Secret Weapons" by J.B. King ,BPC publishing Ltd 1974
 

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red admiral

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Does anyone have any thoughts as how effective either the Luftfaust or Fliegerfaust would be? Aiming is just point and shoot with low velocity projectiles. The British found the 2" and 3" UP rockets to be largely useless a couple of years before.
 
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