Interoperability, Battlespace, and Integration
About the NAVAIR Weapons Division
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During World Crisis…
NAVAIR’s Weapons Division Was There!

     

Direct Involvement in Military Actions

Kosovo "Operation Allied Force" (1999)
Desert Fox (1998)
Bosnian War (1992-1995)
Desert Shield/Storm (1991)
Middle East and Falklands (1982)
Iran/Iraq War. (1980-88)
Cuban Missile Crisis. (1962)
Vietnam War (1956-1975)
Korean War (1950-1953)
World War II (1941-1945)

 

 
     
 
     

Korean War (1950-1953)

   
     

Ram in Korea. Produced/delivered rocket in just 29 days. This China Lake quick-response capability made possible efforts such as Project Ram, which, developed, produced and delivered the 6.5-inch tank-killing rocket to Korea in just 29 days in 1950. (5)

[Quick-Response Achievement] Michelson Lab hall turned into crash production facility. During the Korean War an urgent need arose, just after the North Korean invasion, for something that could stop the North Korean tanks with 5-inch armor. Within 29 days China Lake developed a shaped-charge warhead to match with the 5-inch HVAR motor and produced quantities of the resultant weapon, and the weapon was in service in Korea. This Antitank Aircraft Rocket (ATAR) was also called Ram. For a time during the urgent process the whole main hall of Michelson Laboratory was turned into a fuze production shop with clerks as well as engineers working on the "production line. (33 pg. 34)

Teamwork. "Here was teamwork at its utmost. Scientists, engineers, technicians, metal-benders, range crews, ordnancemen, and pilots—24 hours a day. We all operated on 2 hours of sleep. …" (7)

Rockets. Spin Stabilized Bombardment Rockets (SSBRs.) Immense numbers used. Immense numbers of Spin Stabilized Bombardment Rockets (SSBRs) were employed during WWII for ship-to-shore barrages incident to amphibious operations. These rockets were developed and produced at China Lake. SSBRs were heavily used in the Korean War for shore bombardment. (33 pg. 27)

 

Rockets.

  • Folding-Fin Aircraft Rockets. Prime strike weapons. These rockets offered decisive fire-power potential to modern high-speed aircraft. For example, Mighty Mouse is one of the Center's major contributions to defense and was used by the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. It was also used extensively in Korea and Vietnam in anti-personnel, antimaterial, and flak-suppression strikes. The Army, using the slow-roll modification developed by China Lake, made Mighty Mouse one of its prime strike weapons. It became, and continues to be a principal helicopter weapon in all services. (11, p.19)
  • Sparrow. Marine use. The AN/MPQ-14 Marine close-support guidance system for ground forces was developed at Point Mugu. In this system an aircraft is controlled by signals from a ground radar station so as to fly a desired course and release its bombs at the proper time. This system was successfully used by the Marines in the Korean War. (16)
  • Mighty Mouse in Korea/Vietnam. Prime strike weapon. Mighty Mouse is one of the Center's major contributions to defense and was used by the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. It was also used extensively in Korea and Vietnam in anti-personnel, antimaterial, and flak-suppression strikes. The Army, using the slow-roll modification developed by China Lake, made Mighty Mouse one of its prime strike weapons. It became, and continues to be a principal helicopter weapon in all services. (11, p.19)

 

   
 
     

World War II (1941-1945)

   
     
T&E. NOTS provided Test and Evaluation for Cal Tech rockets. NOTS served as the Navy’s proving ground for all aviation ordnance. (5)

Rockets.

  • Bombardment rockets significance. China Lake developed bombardment rockets that were capable of enhanced range and lethality. They were frequently used to provide fire support for amphibious landings and were also used in Vietnam. (11, p. 9 - 10)
  • Forward-firing rocket significance. The Caltech-China Lake rocket program significantly affected the outcome of World War II. China Lake's work in the early days of rocket development also laid the foundation for continuing successful efforts in rockets, missiles, propellants, warheads, launchers, and fire-control systems.(11, p. 5 - 6)
  • Land/mind clearing. China Lake developed a rocket-thrown line charge that permitted remote clearing of hazardous landing areas. For the first time, assault forces could launch amphibious operations over terrain cleared of mines and obstacles. Experience gained has contributed to the technological base of terrain-clearing weaponry now used by all U.S. services. Also used in Vietnam. (11, p.15)
  • Sole source. All of the Navy rockets used in World War II and all of the aircraft fired rockets were developed at China Lake. (8)
  • Special purpose rockets. Early China Lake special purpose rockets were used for everything from propelling line charges to sampling atomic clouds. Literally millions of the 2.75-inch Might Mouse and 5.0-inch Zuni were fired in combat. (5)

Rocket-thrown line charge. NWC developed a rocket-thrown line charge that permitted remote clearing of hazardous landing areas. For the FIRST time, assault forces could launch amphibious operations over terrain cleared of mines and obstacles. Experience gained has contributed to the technological base of terrain-clearing weaponry now used by all U.S. services. Also used in Vietnam. (11, p.15)

 

 

Primary efforts. In the 1940s included air launched rockets, solid propellants, fire-control systems, and rocked and guided missile T&E. (5)

Training. NOTS provided primary training for developed weapons (5)

Holy Moses. One of the first forward-firing rockets. Rocket development and testing at China Lake began with the work on a version of the Caltech 3.5-inch AR, which was the first forward-firing rocket used by American troops during World War II. Within 9 months after the Caltech-China Lake rocket program began, Fleet aircraft were equipped with this rocket. The 3.5-inch AR and the 5.0-inch Holy Moses were used extensively in Pacific Theater operations to weaken enemy resistance to the U.S. offensive. Holy Moses was also used in the Korean conflict. (11)

[Quick Response Achievement] From design to combat in a few months. China Lake's record of quick-response accomplishments goes back to World War II. Collaborative efforts with CalTech made possible the design, development, testing, and production of Holy Moses 5-inch rocket weapons within a matter of months; Holy Moses was operating in combat by August 1944. (33 pg. 34)

Mighty Mouse. Millions of Rockets used. Early special purpose rockets, developed at China Lake, were used for everything from propelling line charges to sampling atomic clouds. Literally millions of the 2.75-inch Mighty Mouse and 5.0-inch Zuni were fired in combat. (5)

Only bullets surpassed use. The 2.75-Inch Folding-Fin Aircraft Rocket usually referred to just as the "2.75" and occasionally by its other name, Mighty Mouse, was utilized in incredible quantities around the world since its development at China Lake in the 1940s. In fact, more 2.75's have been fired than any other item of ordnance other than bullet-type ammunition. (33 pg. 21)

 

   
 
     
 
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Last Update: 25 April 2001