Military Review

Henschel Hs-294 planning bomb (Germany)

Back in the late thirties, the German company Henschel began work on the so-called. gliding bombs. Within the framework of this program, it was supposed to solve two problems at once: to significantly increase the hitting accuracy aviation ammunition, as well as protect aircraft from anti-aircraft artillery fire. The first Henschel project in this area was the Hs-293 ​​guided gliding bomb. It was a small aircraft with remote control by radio channel (later a wired control system was created) and solid propellant boosters. A slightly modified SC-500 high-explosive fragmentation bomb was used as a missile warhead. From August 1943 to August 1944, Luftwaffe pilots conducted several dozen raids on Allied ships using Hs-293 ​​bombs. A large number of ships were sunk or damaged.


It should be noted that the use of the Hs-293 bomb against ships was, in a certain sense, an enforced measure. Back in 1941, Henschel began the development of a special modification Hs-293, designed to destroy enemy ships. It was assumed that the new planning bomb Hs-294 would hit ships in the most vulnerable part - in the hull below the waterline. It is easy to see that with this method of attack, the planning bomb could become one of the most effective Luftwaffe anti-ship weapons, since a large hole in the underwater part in most cases leads to the death of the ship.

When developing a new anti-ship bomb, the experience gained in the early stages of the Hs-293 project was widely used, which accordingly affected the appearance of the new ammunition. Bomb Hs-294 was built according to the normal aerodynamic configuration with a trapezoidal wing and vertical tail of a small area. As the fuselage planning bombs used warhead characteristic cone-shaped. The warhead with a total weight of 650 kg could pierce the sides of the ships and undermine the target from the inside. However, a fairly powerful warhead had a large size, which led to the need to design a new tail of the bomb. As a result, the length of the ammunition Hs-294 was 6,15 meter. For comparison, the bomb of the previous model had a length of 3,8 m.

In the middle part of the fuselage-warhead with a diameter of about 0,6 meters were attached console trapezoidal wing span 3,96 m. To control the roll wing was equipped with ailerons. In early versions of the project, under the fuselage, in the wing area, there were two tanks for fuel and an oxidizer for liquid rocket engines. The Walter HWK 109-507 engines themselves were located in the tail section of the bomb, under horizontal tail. The tail part of the fuselage bombs contained control equipment, including the radio command receiver. The control system activated the aileron and elevator steering gears. The rudder was absent due to the relatively small area of ​​the keel and ventral ridge. On the tail, they provided a pyrotechnic tracer designed to track the movements of the bomb and facilitate its targeting.

Henschel Hs-294 planning bomb (Germany)

The anti-ship bomb was quite heavy - with a warhead weighing 650 kg, the total launch weight of the ammunition was 2175 kg. Such a difference in weight was due to the relatively heavy construction of the planes and other aggregates, as well as the mass of fuel.

During the first tests that took place at the end of 1942, the new Hs-294 anti-ship bomb, when dropped from a height of about 5400-5500 meters, was able to hit a target at a distance of up to 13-14 kilometers. Method of use of ammunition as follows. The aircraft carrier Heinkel He-177 was to find the target and go on the combat course. At a sufficient distance from the target (more than 14-15 km), the navigator-scorer should aim a special viewfinder at the target and drop the bomb. After uncoupling, the ammunition had to turn on the rocket engines and accelerate to a speed of about 880-900 km / h. The fuel for the Walter HWK 109-507 engines was only enough for 10 seconds of work, during which they developed thrust for 590 kgf. Next, the navigator with the help of the control panel had to correctly direct the bomb at the target according to the three-point method. At the same time, such an attack was considered correct, in the course of which a bomb at a distance of several tens of meters from the ship entered the water at a slight angle to the surface. After the bomb hit the water, the planes, tanks and tail were separated from it, and the warhead continued to move by inertia. According to the calculations of German experts, at the time of hitting the underwater part of the ship, the combat unit, moving like a torpedo, should have a speed of about 250-300 km / h. With such a speed, the warhead could pierce the hull of almost any ship of the early forties. A powerful explosive charge completed the attack, destroying the ship from the inside.

For some reasons, in the early forties, the Hs-293 project received a higher priority, during which a planning bomb with a high-explosive warhead was created. Work on this ammunition allowed to correct some shortcomings in both projects. Thus, during testing of the Hs-293 bomb, it became clear that the technical personnel of the Luftwaffe units could not provide all the conditions necessary for the operation of complex and capricious liquid rocket engines. In this regard, first Hs-293, and then Hs-294 received new accelerators WASAG 109-512, using solid fuel. Characteristics of rocket engines remained at the same level, but their production and operation became simpler and cheaper.

Updating the Hs-294 bomb with the experience gained from testing other guided munitions has significantly improved its characteristics. The testing and refinement of the anti-ship bomb continued until the 1944 year. According to reports, the planning bomb Hs-294 was adopted by the Luftwaffe in the 1944 year, at the same time began its mass production. According to various sources, the German industry managed to manufacture 120-170 bombs of this type. Despite the relatively large series, the Hs-294 bomb was never used in a real combat situation. Manufactured ammunition was used only for testing and for training bomber crews.

The main carrier of the anti-ship planning bomb Hs-294 was to be a He-177 bomber. The dimensions and characteristics of this aircraft made it possible to transport the bomb on an external sling. The possibility of using a He-111 bomber was also considered. However, the most interesting carrier of the new bomb could be the Arado Ar-234. Because of its relatively small size, this aircraft had to tow a bomb using a special rigid system. This version of the use of the Hs-294 bomb remained on the drawings.

The Henschel He-294 controlled bomb was manufactured serially, but was never used in combat. After the end of World War II, the documentation of the German guided-bomb projects fell into the hands of the Allies. Part of the German developments in the future was used in projects created by the winning countries.

On the materials of the sites:
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. avt
    avt 23 October 2013 09: 36
    Actually, according to the title, I thought it would be a wire-guided free-gliding bomb "Fritz", which the Germans well attached the Italian battleship to the British battleship, and which "Savannah" was flashed through the artillery cellar of the main caliber. ...
  2. Taoist
    Taoist 23 October 2013 11: 01
    The Germans, as always, were "too clever" - the idea of ​​an underwater warhead was theoretically beautiful, but it required guidance accuracy unattainable at that time. After the war, ours tried to reproduce this idea in the Shchuka CD - but out of several dozen test launches, it was not possible to achieve a stable underwater course of the warhead.
  3. Uncle
    Uncle 23 October 2013 16: 24
    I wonder how she induced? I read about TV guidance, but during World War II it was very cool.
    1. Taoist
      Taoist 23 October 2013 20: 47
      Well, the term "TV guidance" at that time did not refer to "television" - it just meant "remote control". Successful experiments with radio control, including "air torpedoes" (gliding bombs) were carried out in the USSR as well (remember the work of Bekauri). But the practitioner showed too low the effectiveness of such guidance. All these devices were guided by the so-called. called the "three points" method - i.e. the aiming operator combined the aiming line keeping the target in the sight's viewfinder with a tracer built into the tail of the bomb. Naturally, such guidance had a lot of problems. This is the need for the aircraft carrier to lie on the combat course until it hits the target (which could turn it into an easy target) and restrictions on weather conditions and time of use. A banal smoke screen could make it impossible to aim in principle. And the lag of the falling bomb from the flying plane (that is why, first of all, the Germans stuck an accelerator on their bomb ... In general, the "wunderwafli" did not work out as always.
    2. Andriuha077
      Andriuha077 23 October 2013 22: 02
      The first successful tests were carried out in August 1944, using Seedorf 3 and Tonne 4a guidance equipment. German sources claim that 255 were built, and at least one source claims the Royal Navy's warship was shot down by the HS-293D.
      hs 293 d
  4. uzer 13
    uzer 13 23 October 2013 19: 39
    [the Germans, as always, were "too smart"]
    I just wanted to write the same thing. You just had to drop this bomb from an airplane, just gain more altitude. Having flown 14 km, it will accelerate well without any engines, and the idea of ​​passing the last section of the trajectory under water is complete idiocy .
    1. Boa kaa
      Boa kaa 27 October 2013 12: 08
      Quote: uzer 13
      the idea of ​​passing under the water the last section of the trajectory is complete idiocy.

      This is the most effective way to send to the bottom of the NK, depriving it of buoyancy. By the way, perfectly implemented in our weapons.
  5. leonardo_1971
    leonardo_1971 23 October 2013 21: 42
    in time our grandfathers crushed Germany. The Germans were smart people, they had a lot of groundwork.
  6. Altona
    Altona 23 October 2013 21: 56
    Well, here’s another hello from World War II in the form of a prototype of a cruise missile, with the development of technology all these ideas got a powerful continuation ... Computers, silicon microcircuits, rockets and jet engines, drones, planes with a triangular wing as a prototype of the Shuttle ... Nuclear weapons of course also from there ...
    1. Taoist
      Taoist 24 October 2013 12: 21
      The war generally stimulates technological progress - and such a big war stimulated it especially strongly. Moreover, the fact that in peacetime will be regarded as a technical adventure in war can get a ticket to life. But do not think that the Germans were suddenly so unique. They just turned out to have such a situation - there was no reason to count on anything other than a child prodigy. And they did not actually invent anything new. They rather brought to production what was invented before them. Radar and asiki Britain. The same cruise missiles and telecontrol - the USSR. And so on on the list ...