Military Review

"Scorpion": an interceptor with a nuclear missile. Part II

"Scorpion": an interceptor with a nuclear missile. Part II

The main production version of "Scorpio" was the F-89D ("model N-68"), of which 682 pieces were produced. This option differed from the F-89C by replacing cannon weapons with uncontrolled aviation rockets (NAR). Missile launchers were installed in the bow of the end fuel tanks. New tanks have become longer and wider. The first third of their length was 52 launch tubes for 70-mm FFAR missiles. These missiles were also called the Mighty Mouse. The effective firing range of these NARs reached 900 m. The rear of the tank contained 1167 liters of fuel.

Before opening fire, the pilot could choose the number of missiles in the salvo. It was possible to launch all 104 rockets in just 0,25 seconds. The missiles could also be fired by several volleys: two on the 82 and 42 missiles; three - 42, 32 and 30 missiles. One hit was usually enough to put the bomber down. However, the missiles had a low speed and a large dispersion, which made the defeat of the target problematic. At the same time, at the moment of launch, the interceptor was in the zone of the onboard weapons bomber. And I must say that the shells of the 23-mm cannons of the Soviet bomber, on the contrary, had good accuracy, and the heavy aircraft was a stable platform that provided high-quality aiming, which significantly reduced the Scorpion’s ability to use its missiles in the effective firing range. Over time, much later than in other countries, the Americans nevertheless realized the futility of using NAR to defeat aerial targets.

With the installation of rocket armament guns from the aircraft were removed. At the same time, the nose of the aircraft was remade for the new Hughes E-6 fire control system, which included the APG-40 locator and the AN / APA-84 calculator. The former weapons bay occupied the 993-l fuel tank. The F-89D could also carry wing-dropped drop tanks on the 758 l. The total fuel supply at the same time reached 10745 l.

The first F-89D was converted from the serial F-89В and received the designation YF-89D. The first flight of this machine took place on 23 on October 1951 of the year, and the first two serial F-89Ds delivered the USAF 30 on June 1952. Before the defect of the Scorpion wing was revealed, they managed to collect around the 125 F-89D, which had to be banned, and the cars sent to the factory for revision.

The first combat-ready unit equipped with F-89D aircraft was the 18 squadron of fighter-interceptors at the airbase in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which entered service on January 7 of 1954.

During the operation of the F-89D, several problems were identified that were already solved in the combat units. Thus, during a flight at high altitude, an unexpected “failure” of the engine thrust took place, which, as it turned out, was caused by an incorrect response of the temperature sensor in the automatic control system. Missile launchers during operation corroded, and, if it was not monitored, sometimes the rocket exploded in the launcher. I had to use new (thick-walled) pipes.

The F-89D from 1954 to 1959 was launched by 25 interceptor squadrons based in Alaska, Labrador and inland states. At one time, the Scorpions were armed with an 30 39 air defense squadron based in Canada. F-89D served in Alaska Air Command, Air Defense Command and Northeast Air Command. From the end of the 1958 g, they were gradually replaced by supersonic fighters of the F-102 type “Delta Dugger” and F-101 “Voodoo”. After the United States Air Force was decommissioned, the Scorpions entered US National Guard aircraft. They were first received by the 178 Squadron in North Dakota. The last FD was decommissioned by the US Air Force in 1961. In the Air Force National Guard, they flew to 1969 year.

The designation F-89E received the F-890 variant under the engine Allison J71 with the KG 4400. The J71 engine, it was hoped, should have provided the Scorpion with better thrust-to-weight ratio and lower fuel consumption, which should have significantly increased the range of the interceptor. One F-89, modified under the new engines J71-A-3, received the designation YF-89Е. However, work on the project was discontinued, although the experienced YF-89Е was still used for a long time as a flying laboratory.

The designation F-89E was also used for the design of a single escort fighter. The F-89E was supposed to get two engines of the General Electric J71-GE-21 with a load of 4131 kg. The wing area was increased due to the greater sweep of the leading edge. Armament was to consist of 108 missiles in large underwing fairings, which also removed the main landing gear. As an alternative, ten 12,7-mm machine guns, six 20-mm guns or six MX-904 missiles could be installed in the bow. The maximum speed of the escort fighter was expected at 1100 km / h, and the range was 1616 km. This project was never implemented.

The F-89F project was a development of the F-89D for a pair of engines General Electric J47 4131 kg. The wing area increased due to the greater sweep of the leading edge. The armament was planned to be installed in the underwing fairing following the model of the F-89 escort fighter - six air-to-air guided missiles Falkon or 42 unguided missiles. At the rear of the fairing, 3411 l of fuel was placed behind the rockets. The height of the fuselage was increased, and behind the cabin a large gargrot was installed right up to the keel. The stabilizer was lowered from the keel to the fuselage. This project did not go longer than the layout, the current as in the process of work is constantly planned increase in take-off weight and, consequently, a decrease in flight data. As a result, the US Air Force lost interest in the project and work on the F-89F was terminated in August 1952.

Another project based on the F-89D was the F-89G. In general, this project did not differ from the F-89F, but the aircraft still had Allison J35-A-35 engines with a 3270 kg load, as in the last F-89D. On the F-89G they planned to install the Hughes MA-1 fire control system, which was designed for the new XF-106 interceptor, as well as the Falcon missiles. This option also did not go beyond the drawing board.

The F-89H (N-138) was an adaptation of the F-89D to the new Falcon air-to-air guided missiles. In fact, it was the development of the F-89G project under the Hughes MA-1 fire control system and the Falcon rocket. After the cessation of work on the F-89G, the Northrop company suggested simply installing a simplified version of Hughes MA-89-E-1 on the F-9D. The United States Air Force agreed to refine the three F-89D accordingly. And only one of them was renamed to YF-89Н.

The fairings on the wing tips of the F-89D were refined and increased in size, which made it possible to place six separate compartments for cleaning missiles in them. Three compartments were designed for Hughes GAR-1 “Falcon” missiles, and the other three were designed for launchers with seven 70-mm missiles each. Thus, the total F-89H ammunition included six Falcon missiles and the MITI Mouse 42 missiles.

Rockets "Falcon" in the process of flight were removed in their compartments, from where they were released into the stream just before launch. Hughes GAR-1 "Falcon" was the first American guided missile adopted for service. Work on it began in 1947 year. And initially she wore a fighter designation - F-98. However, in 1950, it was renamed GAR-1. Starting weight "Falcon" was 50 kg. It was equipped with a solid engine "Cap". The rocket had swept wings of small elongation, ending with guided surfaces. The Falcon carried the 13-kg warhead. The guidance was semi-active, radar. The launch range was 6 km.

In 1962, the designation of the rocket was changed to AIM-4. Later, a version of the Falcon was developed for an infrared homing head, which received the designation GAR-2 (later AIM-4В). In the battle, it was planned to launch on the target one rocket of each type, which increased the probability of defeat.

The US Air Force received the first serial F-89H in September 1955 of the year, but the first part with them - the 445 squadron of interceptors at the Wirtsmith airbase - could be put into operation only in March of the 1956 of the year. The main reason for the delay were steel launchers of unguided missiles and the E-9 fire control system. As in the case of the F-89D, corrosion of the launch tubes of the unguided missiles was noted, which could lead to their explosion at the moment of launch. There were problems with the E-9, it had to be brought in to ensure maximum efficiency in the use of rocket weapons.

Since work on supersonic aircraft was rapidly advancing at that time, especially along the Convair F-102A Delta Dagger, the F-89H service in the US Air Force was short. In November, the first F-1957H, which entered service with the 89 squadron of interceptor fighters at Oregon air base, was already transferred to the National Guard Air Force in November. By September 123, all F-1959H were already in the Air Force National Guard.

F-89J (model N-160) was a previously released F-89D, equipped with a nuclear unguided air-to-air missile Douglas MB-1 "Jeni". The development of the Jeni nuclear missile began at Douglas Aircraft in 1955, in collaboration with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which was responsible for the nuclear warhead. The missile was uncontrollable, as the power of the nuclear charge guaranteed defeats the target within the standard error of aiming.

The nuclear missile was equipped with a solid-fuel engine with a kg 1660. Take-off weight was 373 kg. Stability on the course was provided with cruciform plumage. The launch range was about 9 km. The warhead had a W25 nuclear charge with a capacity of 1,5 kg. The radius of the defeat of the Americans was estimated at 300 m.

The F-89J carried two Geni missiles in the underwing launchers. On most F-89J, the armament in the end tanks was dismantled, and the capacity of the tanks increased by 2274 l, although some retained the standard for F-89D armament. Later, two more pylons were installed on the F-89J under each wing of the wing - this time for the Falcon air-to-air guided missiles, which have a conventional warhead.

On the F-89J, there was a Hughes MG-12 fire control system, an improved version of the E-9, mounted on the F-89D. During the interception, the fire control system tracked the target and, at the right time, issued a command to the pilot to put a nuclear charge on a combat platoon, fired a missile, issued a command to the interceptor's lapel to avoid being hit by a nuclear explosion, and at the right moment remotely undermined the nuclear warhead of the missile.

The refined F-89J were known under the code name “The 205G Weapon System”. The first F-89J were commissioned in November 1956 of the year, having entered service with the 84 squadron of interceptor fighters at Hamilton Air Base. This squadron, 1 January, 1957, the year was on alert on duty. Initially, the interceptors were armed with only one missile c nuclear filling.

The first real nuclear launch of the Jeni nuclear missile took place in July 1957 of the year, as part of the Operation Plubum nuclear test. 19 July with an F-89J over the Yuka test site, the MV-1 rocket was launched, the nuclear part of which was blown up at 5000 m. Under the place of the rocket explosion, volunteers from the Air Force officers were quoted in the American press. Immediately after the tests, they were commissioned, although it is very likely that their health was monitored over the next few years.

In total, the X-NUMX F-89D was remade in the F-350J. Works were carried out from March 89 to February 1956. The first production rocket “Jeni” was put into service in May, 1958. In total, up to 1957, about 1963 “Jeni” missiles with nuclear warhead were produced. In the early sixties, the designation of the rocket was changed to AIR-3150A.

F-89J with nuclear warheads “Jeni” (and with unguided rockets “Mighty Mouse”, if the end containers of weapons from F-89D were kept) were the most powerful armed interceptors of the USAF. However, soon, new supersonic interceptors McDonell R-101В “I will be” and Conveyr P-106А, Delta Dart and F-89J began to be introduced into service with the National Guard. By the 1962 year, already nine squadrons of the National Guard had F-89J with nuclear weapons. Only in 1968 r they were finally replaced by supersonic interceptors.

Apparently, this was the only case of the use of nuclear weapons by the US National Guard. F-89J is now on display at the US Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Base.

Kolov G. "Scorpion" with a nuclear sting // Planes of the world. 2000. No.1. C. 26-32.
Zharkova A. Northrop F-89 "Scorpion". US Night Guard // World Aviation. No.213. C. 8-10.
Firsov A. US Fighters // Aviation Collection. No.14. C. 4-8.
Green V., Cross R. Jet aircraft of the world. M .: Voenizdat, 1957. C.187-189.
Winchester J.. Jet fighters. M .: Astrel, 2013. C. 58-64.
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  2. WUA 518
    WUA 518 25 January 2016 09: 38
    The first real nuclear launch of the Jeni nuclear missile took place in July 1957 of the year, as part of the Operation Plubum nuclear test. 19 July with an F-89J over the Yuka test site, the MV-1 rocket was launched, the nuclear part of which was blown up at 5000 m. Under the place of the rocket explosion, volunteers from the Air Force officers were quoted in the American press. Immediately after the tests, they were commissioned, although it is very likely that their health was monitored over the next few years.
    The test, by the way, was carried out in order to certify the safety of the use of such missiles.
    over their own populated territory (they were planned to be used in US air defense ...).
    Five volunteer officers stood under the epicenter of a future explosion in ordinary uniform
    and the photographer who captured the event. These people survived and even expressed delight
    about their unique "adventure". All of them in later life
    experienced various problems with oncology, but everyone lived for a long time and died in a very
    advanced age (and not all from oncology). The last two died, as I recall
    in 2013 and 2014 years.
    Actually the chronicle of the test
  3. Belimbai
    Belimbai 25 January 2016 10: 28
    Option with retractable rockets and nur, just tin .... just star wars))))).
  4. Kir1984
    Kir1984 25 January 2016 14: 30
    they are generally frostbitten
  5. Sergey-8848
    Sergey-8848 25 January 2016 15: 36
    This was a period of general euphoria from the effectiveness of nuclear weapons, as a superweapon that could solve all-all military and peaceful tasks (he did not pass us either). Even not only weapons, but also everything related to atomic energy - a lot of projects of nuclear ground, air, water and space transport, ideas about using nuclear reactors wherever possible.
    Everything pretty quickly died down, as soon as it became clear that penetrating radiation and radioactive contamination of the area (the 3rd and 4th damaging factors of WMD, as we all have been taught) are, though not the most powerful in emitted energy, but the most harmful in the long-term effect on man and all surrounding natural and man-made environment.
  6. Dekabrev
    Dekabrev 25 January 2016 22: 49
    Well, just not 1,5 kg. On Wikipedia, on one page, two different values ​​(1,25 and 1,5 ct). Mysterious Janie! Fifteen hundred tons of TNT and only 300 m radius of destruction! Even amazing. Lemon, if I am not mistaken, spills 50 m fragments at a capacity of 60 grams. A safe distance of 200 meters.
  7. Dekabrev
    Dekabrev 25 January 2016 23: 16
    I remember seeing an excerpt from some old American popular science film with a rosy-cheeked housewife in a kitchen equipped with a nuclear reactor. Our soldiers in those days with shovels cleaned radioactive ash from the roof of the barracks. About the times! About morals! They showed, somehow, a shooter from a Tu-95 dropping the "Tsar Bomb". Old man. All the other crew members had already died, I don't know from what, but they were all much older - a shooter, after all, he was a conscript. True, and he apparently received the highest dose, because he was sitting in the very tail. He said that the window was closed with blinds, black glasses in front of his eyes and with his eyes closed, he saw the light as in the day. The plane was painted with a special reflective paint before.
    and polished.
    And the article is very interesting.