Supersonic Rocket Launcher
Final rept. 17 Jun 1974-21 Feb 1975
HUGHES AIRCRAFT CO CANOGA PARK CA SYSTEMS DESIGN LAB
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A prototype, low cost, lightweight, supersonic rocket launcher was designed and fabricated. The launcher carries eighteen 2.75-inch folding fin aircraft rockets and is designed to withstand the loading caused by supersonic carriage on an aircraft. The launcher features a lightweight composite structure consisting of a foam encapsulated, integrally bonded aluminum launch tube matrix in combination with a fiber reinforced epoxy laminated structural suspension system and outer skin. The launcher has three separate and removable sections to facilitate maintenance and replacement of worn or damaged components. The forward section consists of the launch tube matrix and aerodynamic nose shape. The middle section contains the detents, electrical contacts, and intervalometer. The aft section is an aerodynamic base fairing. This program was the first attempt within the United States to fabricate a supersonic rocket launcher, and the technology developed on this program will be applicable to future developmental programs for advanced rocket launchers.