Author Topic: Cruise Missile Ideas and Inspiration  (Read 779 times)

Offline Story

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Cruise Missile Ideas and Inspiration
« on: August 25, 2020, 08:07:59 PM »
LINDBERG has a Snark kit.
https://www.airplanesandrockets.com/airplanes/northrop-sm-62-snark-jan-1957-am.htm

In 1945 the U.S. Army Air Forces asked for proposals for a pilotless bomber that could deliver a 2,000-pound conventional (later nuclear) warhead.
https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/196745/northrop-sm-62-snark/

What would a 1946 Snark with A-bomb warhead look like?

Offline Kelmola

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Re: Cruise Missile Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2020, 10:39:24 PM »
What would a 1946 Snark with A-bomb warhead look like?
The engine technology of 1946 means that the Snark will be shorter ranged and slower than the OTL version. Probably will also be able to carry a smaller warload, too. Maybe underwing drop tanks to add fuel, and to alleviate speed problem, the engine would then be run at full power for the entire flight? Two engines instead of one, maybe? Afterburner for the final dash across enemy air defences? The navigation system is the less accurate the farther away it is launched though, so together with the anticipated shorter range, the missiles would have to be forward-based. Which would probably mean they would be camouflaged? OD/Neutral Grey or overall OD maybe, with water-soluble white pattern sprayed on during winters in Europe and Alaska (the most likely launch sites)? Would they also have the AB-C style letter codes around the fuselage star-and-bars? Nose art? >:D

Also, when deployed earlier the Snark would be even more unreliable than in OTL, so several missiles would have to be assigned for each target (which was/is done even with the more reliable means of delivery). Assume each is launched from a different site to ensure survivability. Say, a Wing consisting of five squadrons of five missiles each, each squadron firing its missiles at the Wing's five target cities. Though, its survivability in 1946 would be orders of magnitude greater than when it was finally deployed in OTL, due to supersonic interceptors and surface-to-air missiles being nonexistent.

However, the real problem is the availability and miniaturisation of nuclear devices*. The OTL Snark could carry a 6 000 pound physics package*, and we already assumed that the 1946 Snark would be able to carry less. Problem is, in 1946 the only devices available to the US were similar to those initiated* over Japan, Mark 2 (Little Boy) and Mark 3 (Fat Man) bombs, each weighing some 10 000 pounds, and of these, less than ten could be put together in 1946 due to bottlenecks in enrichment plants. Production of fissile material and initiators sped up starting from 1947, but even so, smaller devices such as the 2400 to 3200 pound Mark 5 and the 1700 pound Mark 7 were not available until 1952. But let's assume for argument's sake that if there was a need, then a package fitting the Snark could be procured in time (without the Snark and with only a few warheads available, there was also no real need for anything smaller that could fit on a B-29 or B-36) and in sufficient numbers.

*) Gotta love the hypocritical terminology regarding nuclear weapons. Yes, I know that initiation is the technically correct term as detonation refers to supersonic combustion and not the initiation of a chain reaction, but still.

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Re: Cruise Missile Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2020, 02:48:04 AM »
I have always liked the Snark's look and got to see this one up close in person a few years back:



I have the 1/48 kit and plan to do a piloted version.
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Offline dy031101

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Re: Cruise Missile Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2021, 10:04:53 AM »
Taiwanese interpretation of the Rb08- Zhōngliú (Midstream) anti-ship missile.

A copy of the MQM-107B, except fitted with active radar guidance and a warhead.  It was developed in the 1980s as a long-range, land-based alternative to the HF-1 missile.  Range is quoted as "more than 100km".

Did not enter service, unlike the Rb08, because the ROC military decided that they want something like the Harpoon after some initial trouble with the Zhōngliú project.  That "something like the Harpoon" ended up taking the form of the HF-2.

=========================================================

I do love the Rb08.  On Swedish destroyers the launchers are fitted over torpedo tubes.
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Offline jcf

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Re: Cruise Missile Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2021, 10:40:39 AM »
LINDBERG has a Snark kit.
https://www.airplanesandrockets.com/airplanes/northrop-sm-62-snark-jan-1957-am.htm

In 1945 the U.S. Army Air Forces asked for proposals for a pilotless bomber that could deliver a 2,000-pound conventional (later nuclear) warhead.
https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/196745/northrop-sm-62-snark/

What would a 1946 Snark with A-bomb warhead look like?

Late answer here, but probably like the original N-25 configuration, several were built and
testflown before being superseded by the N-69 design.
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Offline Kerick

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Re: Cruise Missile Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2021, 02:32:33 PM »
That Rb08 really looks like something whiffed out of spare parts!