Rockets fired from CF-5 Aircrafts Tracker aircraft firing CRV-7

Rocket Motors

Length: 3.4 ft (1.04 m)
Diameter: 2.75 in (70 mm)
Wingspan: 7 in (186 mm)
Weight: 14.5 lbs (6.6 kg)
Warhead: varies
Guidance: None
Range: 12,000 feet (3.6 Km)

Starfighter aircraft firing rocketsThe CRV-7 Rocket Motor was designed and developed by the Canadian Forces in Valcartier, Québec, Canada and is now being nanufactured by Bristol Aerospace Limited. The first one to be produced in 1973, the RLU-5001/B (C-14) produced quite a bit of smoke due to the aluminium fuel in the propellant composition (as seen by the two pictures above). For that reason they were not suitable to be fired from slow moving aircraft or helicopters as they could be easily spotted.

The smoke problem brought on the development of the RLU-5002/B (C-15) rocket motor which was very similar except that it did not produce the vast amount of smoke.

Starfighter firing CRV-7The latest rocket in service in the Canadian Forces is the RLU-5002A/B (HEPI) which main difference is that the igniter assembly (device that ignites the rocket motor propellant) was removed from the nozzle throat and moved forward to the head-end of the rocket motor, thus HEPI (Head-End Permanent Igniter). What brought on this modification is that the igniter assembly used to be in the nozzle and was ejected the rear of the rocket and would strike the aircraft and cause slight damage. Now the igniter assembly is permanently mounted to the head-end of the rocket motor and any part which might break off is consumed by the combustion before exiting the nozzle.

Starfighter aircraft firing rocketsThe CRV-7 having a higher velocity and kinetic energy than other 2.75 in rockets has enable the development of new types of rockets not before associated with 70 mm rockets, such as the FAT warhead. FAT stands for Flechette Anti-Tank. The FAT warhead was developped from firing practice warhead at ship used for targets. The practice warhead used is an outer casing made of nylon/plastic and housing a large and flat-ended metal rod. When they would fire at the ships they found out that because of the high kenetic energy of the rocket motor, the plastic casing would shatter and the rod, even though blunt, would go through the deck of the ship they fired at. Seeing this, they studied the facts and created a rocket warhead specifically designed for the CRV-7 which incorporated 5 tungsten reinforced steel dart/flechettes that can penetrate the armour of the most modern tanks.

Freedomfighter firing CRV-7The CRV-7 looks similar to the MK 4 and MK 40 rockets but the trajectory is flatter, range is greater and impact energy is three times as high. Accuracy is improved by the fact that a high rate of rotation is imparted in the rocket by flutted vanes molded in the nozzle and is assisted by the curvature of the wrap-around fins.

Starfighter aircraft firing rocketsOne of the first use of the CRV-7 was at a weapon's competition in France. The aim of the competition was to hit a tower with rockets equipped with practice warhead so the tower would not be destroyed by a direct impact. At that time the CRV-7 was new and untried my most canadian pilots. When the pilot fired his CRV-7 at the tower, the rocket impacted the tower, exploded and destroyed the tower. Thus the Canadians were disqualified for using an explosive warhead instead of a practice one. The fact of the matter was that since the pilot was not aware of the increased stand-off range, he used the same as the MK 4series rocket which was way too close and when the rocket impacted the tower the propellant was still burning. the chock of impact shattered what was left of the propellant, which increased the area of combustion, the amount of gas being produced, the gas pressure and the speed of combustion which ended in a violent deflagration which destroyed the tower.

Presently many countries are using the CRV-7 including but not excluded to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Some of the rocket warheads used by the CAF are the WTU-5001/B Practice.  

The WTU-5001/B Practice Warheadwtu-5001.gif (2858 bytes) is manufactured in Canada.   It is a 10 lb warhead which is used for training of pilots and it sutbstitues the 10 lb explosive filled rocket warhead.  The warhead consists of an 8 lb stoft steel rod encased in a nylon/glass fibre shell.

If you have any questions on the CRV-7 rockets, send me an email and I'll see what I can do......

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Last updated: 11 April 2007
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