WS-121B Longbow

KJ_Lesnick

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It was an anti-radiation missile designed to replace the aborted GAM-67: It was jet-powered with, what appears to be a subsonic cruise/supersonic dash, with a range of 200 nm. It was cancelled in 1960, from what it would appear.

There doesn't seem to be much else available and, if it's not classified, I'm curious if anybody has any available knowledge on the matter.
 

Grey Havoc

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Apart from the fact that it was a Northrop project, I don't have anything solid on it at the moment, sorry. I'll keep an eye out.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Apart from the fact that it was a Northrop project, I don't have anything solid on it at the moment, sorry. I'll keep an eye out.
I appreciate your efforts, I'm curious if it has any ties to the Northrop N-218 Supersonic Decoy Missile?

It seems to be related to SHRIKE in this book but it's a bit cryptic.
Yeah, and I'm not sure if it's totally accurate as the AGM-45's seeker was based on the Corvus (the Corvus and Longbow were cancelled around the same time), and it seems more likely that the USAF would have cancelled a design like the Corvus if they had something suitable of their own.

It's my opinion that the Corvus was an excellent design because of the fact that
  • It was lighter (Weight: 1750 lb vs 2700 lb) and more compact (Length: 16' vs 20'; Diameter: 19" vs 32") than the Crossbow (I have no idea what the Longbow would have weighed in at)
    • It could be carried by a number of smaller aircraft including...
      • F-101 & F-105: Both were used extensively as nuclear-strike aircraft. The same thing that allowed them to fly decent distances down low would allow them to fly further up high with the same load. They might also be able to fly quite a bit faster than they did at low altitude. The fast moving targets would prove something radar operators would be inclined to look at, and that would make them unwittingly vulnerable to attack. The missile's weight would probably mean 1-2 could be carried depending on altitude, range, and speed.
      • B-57 & B-66: The A3D could carry two in tests, and the B-66 is a heavily modified A3D; the B-57 might need some strengthening to the wing-pylons to carry it, but it seemed more maneuverable at altitude, and would pose a target that would be harder to resist.
  • It was faster than the Crossbow (Mach 3.75 vs Mach 0.8-0.9), making it greatly more effective.
  • It could carry conventional or nuclear ordinance, which increases the versatility of the weapon
While it couldn't fly race-track patterns and lay-chaff, I would hardly consider that an issue because
  • The B-52's were already in the process of being fitted with the ADM-20 Quail: They could fly even further than the Crossbow and not just decoy radar but thermal signatures
  • The ability to put down enemy air defenses immediately is extremely useful. Dead defenses are dead.
 

aim9xray

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A minor negative to Corvus: liquid hypergolic bi-propellant - inhibited red fuming nitric acid and an amine-type fuel. An absolutely charming mixture on the carrier deck (or anywhere else, for that matter).

The 10 kt warhead was effective (and usable) in one set of scenarios (and no others, such as Vietnam). I would question the efficacy of an alternate conventional HE warhead (and a tight CEP) while using 1957 vintage guidance electronics while zorching in at M 0.8 (in a dive) - particularly with an emitter that is playing possum. Maximum range (170nmi) was predicated on a pop-up flight profile (much like the later Phoenix in LRI mode) and M 0.8 cruise.

The Navy planned Corvus for A3D, A4D and P6M. Possible alternates were A3J and A2F.
 

Forest Green

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A minor negative to Corvus: liquid hypergolic bi-propellant - inhibited red fuming nitric acid and an amine-type fuel. An absolutely charming mixture on the carrier deck (or anywhere else, for that matter).

The 10 kt warhead was effective (and usable) in one set of scenarios (and no others, such as Vietnam). I would question the efficacy of an alternate conventional HE warhead (and a tight CEP) while using 1957 vintage guidance electronics while zorching in at M 0.8 (in a dive) - particularly with an emitter that is playing possum. Maximum range (170nmi) was predicated on a pop-up flight profile (much like the later Phoenix in LRI mode) and M 0.8 cruise.

The Navy planned Corvus for A3D, A4D and P6M. Possible alternates were A3J and A2F.
LRI mode?
 
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