MGM-52 Lance missile system

MGM-52 Lance missile system

MGM-52 Lance Short Range Battlefield tactical support missile system

The MGM-52 Lance Short Range Battlefield tactical support missile system was first designed in the 1960s by the Vought Corporation. Design took place in 1962 with the development contract being placed in 1963, first test firing in March 1965. Problems with the rocket engine delayed delivery until 1971 with the first units being issued to the US Army for service trials then and the first units going operational in April 1972. The weapon was designed to provide nuclear fire support at Corps level and the US Army had at one point 8 battalions in service. The Lance also replaced the Honest John short range missile in several NATO armies including West Germany, UK, Italy and Israel; in these countries the missiles were operated locally while the nuclear warheads remained under US control.

The weapon had a two part concentric pre packed liquid propellant motor with the outer system providing initial thrust at which point the weapon was still under control of the onboard inertial guidance system. Once cruise speed is achieved the inner propulsion system takes over until it shuts down as the weapon glides in on its terminal trajectory. The lance was carried on two variants of the M113 APC, the M752 being the erector launcher and the M688 carrying 2 missile reloads and a loading host. A single use light weight launcher was also developed to be dropped by helicopter or by a parachute into the front lines if needed to provide rapid support. The original warhead had options to carry the standard NATO 467 lb 10 to 100 kiloton warhead, a ½ kiloton neutron warhead was also developed (an anti personal rather than anti material weapon). The Israeli version carried a M251 cluster warhead which drops 836 submuntions on the target each weighing less than 1lb covering an area 820 meters (900 yds) in diameter, the main target was to be air defences.

Length: 6.17m (20ft 3 in).
Weight: 1530kg (3,373lbs) nuclear warhead. 1778kg (3,920lbs) conventional warhead.
Range: 4.8km (3 miles) minimum. 121km (75 miles) maximum (reduced by 7 miles if using conventional warhead.
CEP: 455m (500 yds)


LTV MGM-52 Lance

The Lance was a short/medium-range tactical surface-to-surface missile, which replaced the MGM-29 Sergeant and MGR-1 Honest John in U.S. Army service. It was also the last nuclear-armed tactical ballistic missile of the U.S. Army.

In the late 1950s, the Army began to formulate requirements for a new series of ballistic missiles, called Missile "A" through "D". Missile "A" was to become a replacement for the MGR-3 Little John, Missile "B" for the MGR-1 Honest John, Missile "C" for the MGM-29 Sergeant, and Missile "D" (which evolved into the MGM-31 Pershing) for the PGM-11 Redstone. In 1962, Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) was selected as prime contractor for Missile "B", which at that time was expected to become a short-range (50 km) missile. In November 1962 the name Lance was assigned, and in June 1963 the designation MGM-52 was allocated.

The Lance used a new variable-thrust boost/sustain liquid-fueled rocket engine, using storable liquid propellants. The engine was built by Rocketdyne, and its development turned out to be rather troublesome, causing many delays. Additionally, the Lance used 4 spin motors immediately after launch which produced the charactersitic black smoke which accompanied every Lance firing. The Lance was guided by a completely self-contained inertial system (AN/DJW-48) using the principle of DCAM (Directional Control Automatic Meteorological) Compensation. In this system the missile's accelaration was constantly monitored by an accelerometer, and the variable-thrust sustainer engine provided exactly the amount of thrust to keep the missile on the predetermined trajectory, compensating for any atmospheric changes or disturbances. The first test flight of an XMGM-52A missile occurred in March 1965, and the tests continued through 1965/66, including validation of the DCAM guidance principle.

Photos: U.S. Army
XMGM-52A

In 1965, studies showed that by using a higher performance engine, larger missile fins, and by removing the ballast from the warhead section, the range of the Lance could be significantly increased to about 140 km. The modified missile was called Extended Range Lance (XRL), and effectively combined the requirements for Missiles "B" and "C". The XRL was designated MGM-52B, and while testing continued with the XMGM-52A, it was decided that only the MGM-52B would be fielded.

The first light of an XMGM-52B XRL missile occurred in May 1969, and in the next year the required range and accuracy of the XRL could be demonstrated. However, serious troubles with the rocket engine plagued the flight tests between 1967 and 1971, and the Lance was not declared ready for deployment until May 1972. By this time the planned chemical and conventional warheads had been cancelled, and the initial Lance missiles were all armed with a W-70 thermonuclear variable-yield (1 kT - 100 kT) warhead. The final production configuration of the Lance with all the changes made during XMGM-52B testing (including a slightly redesigned fin and tail section) was designated MGM-52C.

Photos: U.S. Army
XMGM-52B

The first operational Lance battalion was deployed in Europe in September 1973. Compared to the Sergeant it replaced, Lance was far easier to operate and maintain. The missile could be fired at short notice (reaction time was less than 15 minutes), and because of its compact size, more missiles could be moved by a single unit.

Photo: U.S. Army
MGM-52C

In 1976 the development of a non-nuclear warhead section for the MGM-52C resumed. This was a cluster warhead designated XM251, which used M40 submunition bomblets. The M251 warhead entered service with the U.S. Army in 1978, and conventially armed Lance missiles (with several warhead types) were used by many NATO countries. In 1977, a derivative of the W-70 nuclear warhead, the W-70 Mod 3, was ready for production. This was an ER (Enhanced Radiation, a.k.a. "Neutron Bomb") warhead, designed to produce a much higher neutron radiation level (to kill enemy soldiers at longer range and/or behind better shielding), and significantly smaller blast/heat effects than "usual" thermonuclear warheads (to limit damage to civilian buildings). The ER warhead was originally cancelled for political reasons, but eventually built beginning in 1981. However, the ER warhead was never issued to field units.

When the Cold War ended at the beginning of the 1990's, there was no longer a need for nuclear-armed SRBMs. Deactivation of Lance began in 1991, and was completed in June 1992. This quick retirement was possible, because in 1991 the new MGM-140 ATACMS SRBM (with conventional warheads only) had become operational. The remaining Lance missiles are used as targets, but they are not redesignated as MQM-52. In total, about 2100 Lance missiles were built.


Map with former MGM-52 operators in red

Former operators

  United States United States Army

  • 1st Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment (1973�) Fort Sill, Oklahoma [3]
  • 1st Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment (1975�) Hanau, Germany
  • 6th Battalion, 33rd Field Artillery Regiment (1975�) redesignated as 6th Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment (1987�) Fort Sill [10] (One battery was forward deployed to South Korea) [11]
  • 2nd Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment (1974�) redesignated as 4th Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment (1987�) Crailsheim, Germany
  • 3rd Battalion, 79th Field Artillery Regiment (1974�) redesignated as 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment (1986–?) Giessen, Germany
  • 1st Battalion, 80th Field Artillery Regiment (1974�) redesignated as 3rd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment (1987�) Aschaffenburg, Germany
  • 1st Battalion, 333rd Field Artillery Regiment (1973�) redesignated as 3rd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment (1986–?) Wiesbaden, Germany
  • 2nd Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment (1974�) redesignated as 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment (1987�) Herzogenaurach, Germany

  United Kingdom British Army

  Israel Israeli Defence Forces

  Netherlands Royal Netherlands Army

  Belgium Belgian Land Component

  Italy Italian Army

  Germany German Army

  • 150th Rocket Artillery Battalion
  • 250th Rocket Artillery Battalion
  • 350th Rocket Artillery Battalion
  • 650th Rocket Artillery Battalion

MGM-52 Lance missile system - History

(Click on pictures below to enlarge. Then use your browser's back button to return.)

I was stationed in Germany 1985-1986 during the worst nuclear disaster in history: The meltdown of the Chernobyl power plant. All of Europe was concerned with the nuclear fall out from the accident. While back in Germany, U.S. Forces were on alert because of the bombings of Rhein-Main's Air Force Base in Frankfurt and later the April 5, 1986 bombing of a discotech in Berlin. I remember seeing the windows blown out on several large buildings near the BX. I was sent to Rhein-Main on guard duty while security barriers were installed.

I worked as a Lance missile crewman during my enlistment. The Lance missile was part of the Army's artillery. The Lance was a short range (75 miles) surface-to-surface tactical missile with three available warheads: 1) high explosive, 2) chemical, and 3) nuclear. The nuclear warhead was the largest and had multiple settings up to 100 kilotons. Originally, I was assigned to a line battery, but I spent most of my 3 years attached to Missile Maintenance in Service Battery (1/32 FA & 1/12 FA). All that time and I never new it was called the 'neutron bomb'. The neutron bomb was designed to target people but not cause heavy damage to buildings (a building friendly bomb).

The Lance crewmen were assigned to two different crews. The first crew picked up the main missile assemblage and warhead (both stored in containers) and loaded them up on 5-ton trucks. Later they would open the containers and 'mate' the warhead to the missile. The assembled missile would be placed onto a tank-like vehicle called a loader-transporter.

The second crew would load the missile onto a similar tracked-vehicle capable of launching the missile. The tracked-vehicle would drive to a marked location where the missile would be layed with survey equipment and gunner's sight quadrant attached to the missile. If it was a nuclear round, launching codes would be entered into the warhead. The missile would then be launched which was a spectacular site. I saw the Lance fired at the NATO base in Crete, Greece and in White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. I've never seen anything move so fast. It takes flight at a speed of Mach 3. During battle the Lance missile would be used against the Soviet's front line.

The Lance missile has since become declassified and obsolete except as a flying target to test surface-to-air missiles like the Army's Patriot missile. The battalion I was assigned to in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma became a Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) battalion shortly after my end of enlistment. I have not been able to find any links to the 1/32 FA where I was stationed in Germany. If anyone knows of any links to 1/32 FA, Fliegerhorst Kaserne (map, 1/32 FA barracks) please send me an e-mail.

Further reading on the Lance can be found at 50th Missile Regiment. More and more information about the Lance can be found on line. I remember searching the internet in 1997 and finding absolutely nothing about the Lance missile. Coincidently, the Lance missile was manufactured at the LTV plant (picture 200K) in Warren, Michigan, where I live.

3rd Platoon, Fort Sill
MOS: Lance Missile
MLRS
Pershing II

courtesy of Ben Rogers duxford.org

The Lance's Lineage -- View a time line of the Lance and its predecessors beginning with the V-2 rocket.

Lance Missile Message Board -- This page now has its own message board. Here's a place to share stories from your past with others who have worked with the missile.

The Lance Presentation -- A compilation of Lance information. Loaded with graphics. Please be patient while pages load (created on PowerPoint).

What is a neutron bomb? Definitions of a neutron bomb.

Interview with neutron bomb inventor -- An interview with Sam Cohen including his involvement in the Manhattan Project.

Manufacturer's specifications -- Specifications of the original Rocketdyne Lance System.

Photos of the Lance Missile -- Photos of Lance from Vought corporation.

Display at White Sands Missile Range -- Photos from White Sands Missile Range Museum.

The Lance System -- A chronological history of the Lance with photos and multimedia (highly recommended - offline as of 4/1/11)

LTV MGM-52 Lance -- Another web page with information on the Lance Missile. Explanation of guidance system.

The Lance Missile - MGM 52C -- Information on the Lance System including its nuclear yield.

50 Missile Regiment -- Created by a former British Lance Missile Crewman.

B Battery 6/32 (Lance) -- Stationed in Korea, this former Lance Missile Crewman recounts the deactivation of B Battery during the end of the Cold War.

Internet Archive -- Eight minute promotional video of Lance Missile (Realplayer)

History USAREUR Atillery -- detailed info on Lance Battalions overseas

russian missile links

Russia's Nuclear Weapons Museum -- What the Russians had during the Cold War.
http://www.vniief.ru/museum/museum_e.html

SS-1 "SCUD" -- The Lance's Soviet counterpart. Although it's closer in size and weight to a Pershing II, both Scud and Lance missiles shared similar propellants, warheads, range, and guidance systems. (offline as of 4/11/11)


MGM-52 Lance

The LANCE was developed as a mobile surface-to-surface weapon system in 1962. This missile was declared obsolete for operating forces in April 1994. The LANCE missile is about 20 feet long and weighs about 3373 pounds. Maximum range is reported to be 75 miles. Maximum speed is Mach 3. LANCE uses a pre-packed liquid-propellant that generates 42,000 pounds of boost thrust. The missile uses an inertial guidance system that is electronic countermeasures resistant.

The LANCE was a mobile field artillery tactical missile system used to provide both nuclear and non-nuclear general fire support to the Army Corps. Designed to attack key enemy targets beyond the range of cannon artillery and to reinforce the fires of other artillery units, the LANCE replaced the HONEST JOHN system, fielded in 1954, and the SERGEANT system, deployed in 1962. It filled the U.S. Army's need for a highly mobile, medium-range, fin stabilized, all weather, surface-to-surface missile weapon system. The LANCE's primary mission targets included enemy missile firing positions, airfields, transportation centers, command and logistic installations, critical terrain features (defiles, bridgeheads, main supply routes, etc.), and large troop concentrations.

The missile was incrementally guided by a self-contained system using the Directional Control Automatic Meteorological (DCAM) Compensation concept. The LANCE missile was launched by a high thrust booster that propelled it out to 1500 meters. The boost phase direction was controlled by a gyro commanding secondary injection into the booster. The booster cut off and the variable thrust sustainer, controlled by an accelerometer, provided the exact amount of thrust to equal the missile drag. The result was a predictable trajectory that essentially eliminated errors caused by atmospheric disturbances or changes. The missile was aimed using field artillery techniques plus the variable booster time. Unlike other Army missiles that use solid propellants, the LANCE used a prepackaged, liquid fuel that eliminated any need for fueling in the field and gave the LANCE a short reaction time. It was capable of delivering nuclear warheads out to a range of about 75 miles and conventional warheads to a range of about 45 miles.

The missile system briefly gained notoriety as the "neutron bomb," after the Washington Post reported on the Army's development of a warhead for the LANCE that would kill people but cause minimal destruction of property. The enhanced radiation warhead was designed to release within a restricted radius great quantities of neutrons which attacked the human central nervous system. The warhead would also reduce the heat and blast effects of conventional nuclear warheads, thereby reducing the destruction of buildings and collateral damage to civilian populated areas. Officials believed that the LANCE enhanced radiation warhead would deter a Soviet attack by threatening the U.S.S.R. with a weapon that could be used without destroying the Federal Republic of Germany in order to save it. Congress approved production funds for the new warhead on 13 July 1977, but President Jimmy Carter deferred production of the neutron warhead in April 1978.

Established under the U.S. Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) as the Missile "B" Project Office on 11 December 1961, the subsequently renamed LANCE was one of the original project management offices created with the activation of the U.S. Army Missile Command (MICOM) on 1 August 1962. The LANCE Missile System development began when MICOM issued a letter contract to Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV), prime contractor for the system, on 11 January 1963. Four months later, on 24 May, MICOM definitized the original letter contract as a cost-plus-incentive-fee (CPIF) contract, the first ever applied to a major U.S. Army weapon system. This CPIF contract was also unique because it covered the entire research and development phase of the LANCE program, and was one of the first Army contracts "certified" for Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)-Cost.

On 1 December 1970, the LANCE weapon system was elevated to a Class II activity assigned to U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) Headquarters, although it was still physically located at Redstone Arsenal (RSA). The project office returned to MICOM's jurisdiction on 1 August 1974. The LANCE Project Office was terminated on 31 March 1980, and responsibility for the missile system transferred to the MICOM Weapon Systems Management Directorate (WSMD). Level II management of the system was subsequently provided by the MICOM Missile Logistics Center (later the Integrated Materiel Management Center) from July 1981 until FY 1992. Responsibility for the demilitarization and reuse of excess LANCE assets was transferred to the reestablished MICOM WSMD in FY 1993.

A family of field artillery missiles designated "A" to "D" was proposed for development in the 1965-70 timeframe. Missile "B" was to deliver a 1000-pound nuclear, non-nuclear, or chemical warhead to a range of 75 kilometers. Accuracy was set at 5 mils to encourage a low unit cost of the missile. The technical approach of DCAM was a perfect fit. Dr. William C. McCorkle and Mr. R.G. Conard of the Ordnance Missile Laboratories (OML) at Redstone Arsenal invented the DCAM guidance system. This was the first and perhaps the only Army missile system based on an OML invention.

The feasibility of the Automet was demonstrated by an experimental Missile "A" using a constant thrust booster with a variable aerodynamic drag missile. Missile "B" required the development of a unique variable thrust liquid engine. The technical recommendations in June 1961 were that this new engine be demonstrated before proceeding with a Missile "B" development program. On 9 May 1962, the Department of Defense (DOD) directed that the prime contractor for the Missile "B" development program be selected by 1 October 1962. On 1 November 1962, the Army selected the LTV team in Dallas, Texas, to do the work in the Michigan Army Missile Plant (MAMP). At this time, Missile "B" was renamed LANCE.

LTV immediately started the total system development with emphasis on meeting the schedule incentive for the first flight. Three LANCE missile configurations were planned for the development program: Engineering Model (EM) for development Tactical Prototype (TP) for transition to production and Production Model (PM) for hardtooled production line.

By April 1964, serious problems with the propulsion system caused the LANCE Project Office and LTV to put a team on-site at the subcontractor, Rocketdyne. The team identified technical and management problems involving more than propulsion, and corrective action was taken. The missile length had to be increased to compensate for reduced engine performance, while the schedule-driven program was changed to an event-driven logic using "Quantified Milestones" (QMs).

The first successful engine test occurred on 16 January 1965. The first flight test was conducted successfully on 15 March 1965. The LANCE DCAM concept was demonstrated by this flight, which experienced a 125-knot crosswind at apogee. Subsequent EM flights resulted in a test, fix, test approach. DOD moved LANCE from a Research and Development (R&D) category to one of General Purpose Forces in November 1965. The final block of six EM flight tests was completed successfully on 3 October 1966. The following month, recommendations for Limited Production (LP) were submitted to the Department of the Army (DA), which authorized LP procurement of 17 sets of ground support equipment (GSE) on 15 June 1967.

Studies in April 1965 showed that LANCE could extend its range to 75 miles by the use of a higher performance engine and larger fins, and by removing the ballast from the nuclear warhead. This meant that the Extended Range LANCE (XRL) could fill both the "B" and "C" missions. The Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research and Development) (ASA[R&D]) directed that the concept be demonstrated in time for an October 1966 XRL decision. Two experimental XRL missiles demonstrated the feasibility on 28 September 1966. DA approved development of XRL in March 1967. On 15 December 1967, the Secretary of the Defense directed that only the XRL configuration of LANCE be fielded.

The TP flight test program began in early 1967 with mixed results. The test program was halted on 20 October 1967 when the fifth TP missile blew up. A new diagnostic approach was developed to find the "Root Cause" of the failure. The failures were isolated to the most likely cause and the failure duplicated before the "Root Cause" was confirmed. Corrective action was then applied. The "Root Cause" of this failure was confirmed on 13 May 1968. The corrective action was appropriately known as SOS-Spring on Seal-to keep oxygen-rich gases from mixing with the hot, fuel-rich solid propellant gas generator gases. The new feed system was successfully flown on 30 August 1968 and subsequently certified by four more flights by March 1969.

The first XRL flight test was conducted successfully on 13 May 1969. However, on 11 July 1969, the XRL engine failed dramatically due to combustion instability. The diagnostic process was used to isolate the problem and then to direct the solution demonstrated on 24 October 1969. On 6 March 1970, the XRL maximum range and accuracy were successfully demonstrated. A senior In-Process Review (IPR) on 10 September 1970 recommended LP production of 75 missiles and cancelled the chemical warhead flights.

The first Engineering Test (ET)/Service Test (ST) failed on Friday, 13 August 1971. The "Root Cause" was a missile power interruption from the nuclear warhead. With corrective action, the flight tests continued until 30 November 1971, when a second nuclear warhead missile failed. This failure required a major redesign of the nuclear warhead circuitry. Another 12 missiles and 9 additional months were required to certify the redesign.

A Production Validation IPR held on 9 May 1972 recommended Type Classification Standard "A" (TC-STD-A) for the LANCE missile and an extension of the nuclear warhead LP quantities based on ET/ST results. Following a subsequent IPR, the nuclear warhead was declared TC-STD-A on 16 April 1973.

The non-nuclear warhead program progressed slowly due to a continuing problem with an XM41 munition high dud rate such that in the latter part of FY 1969 the standard M40 munition was explored for use with LANCE. On November 1971, Congress cancelled all funds for the non-nuclear warhead. A restart of the program was authorized in January 1973. By April 1974, 10 flight tests had been completed, but a redesign and retest of the main fuze was required. In 1976, the production go-ahead for 360 missiles was received.

LANCE missile production was approved in September 1970, and the first battalion was fielded to the U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR) in September 1973. At that time, the system achieved its initial operational capability (IOC). Less than two years later, the first full-scale deployment of the LANCE to a foreign military sales (FMS) customer was accomplished. Once it was fully fielded, the Army had eight LANCE battalions, six in Europe and two in the United States. LANCE was also sold to NATO allies and to Israel in the non-nuclear version.

Originally scheduled to be retired in the mid-1980s, the LANCE system was extended through 1990. DA subsequently decided in June 1985 to extend the nuclear-only LANCE shelf life to 1995. However, on 27 September 1991, President George Bush announced a unilateral cut in nuclear weapons, which was followed on 5 October by a similar announcement by President Mikhail Gorbachev of the U.S.S.R. Although the Soviet Union collapsed shortly thereafter, the United States later reaffirmed this nuclear arms reduction agreement by signing a treaty with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine on 23 May 1992. The final LANCE battalion stood down at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, on 30 June 1992. After being demilitarized, excess LANCE missiles were set aside for use as targets.

LANCE is used as a short-range ballistic missile target, capable of being instrumented and modified to meet a wide-range of DOD test requirements. The US Army Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command (STRICOM) PM for Instrumentation Targets and Threat Simulators manages the LANCE Missile Target Program. The USMC used the LANCE to stimulate the TPS-59 (V)3 system during both DT&E and OT&E.

During test concept development for the TPS-59 (V)3 OT&E, it was determined that both the PM and MCOTEA needed to test the ability of the radar to detect live missiles in flight from differing directions and ranges. Dual missile detection and cueing tests were planned to evaluate two targets in the same azimuth dwell. ABTs were added to missile detection events to test multiple capabilities of the Combined Mode of the TPS-59 (V)3 Radar. Variation of targets would allow the TPS-59 (V)3 to be tested under operationally representative threat conditions against both small RCS missiles and ABTs (F-16s) with larger RCS. Combining missile and ABT presentations contributed data elements to resolve several different MOEs.

Limited threat representative aircraft were readily available, although expensive, to support TPS-59 (V)3 test and evaluation (T&E). Threat representative missiles, although available, were unaffordable in the numbers required to support DT&E or OT&E. Without STRICOM's LANCE Program, a marginally acceptable realistic test would not have been possible and very significant residual risk would have remained upon completion of OT&E. The most important factor contributing to successful use of LANCE was that the Army and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) had validated the LANCE missile as a threat representative target. This greatly facilitated the MARCORSYSCOM PM's and MCOTEA's ensuing accreditation of LANCE to support DT&E and OT&E, respectively [Reference (8)]. Without BMDO support, MARCORSYSCOM and MCOTEA would not have had the resources to independently V&V LANCE, and accredit LANCE based on that V&V.


MGM-52 Lance missile system - History

AKA: MGM-52. Status: Active. First Launch: 1996-08-22. Last Launch: 2009-03-26. Number: 8 .

Planning began in the late 1950s for more modern technology replacements of second generation Army missiles. In 1962 Ling-Temco-Vought was selected as prime contractor for the Honest John replacement, dubbed Lance. In order to obtain the high performance desired in a smaller missile, the typical use of solid propellant in a tactical weapon was abandoned in favor of storable liquid propellants. The Rocketdyne engine had higher performance and could also be finely throttled in flight to maximize range. Lance's four spin motors, not the Rocketdyne engine, produced the trademark black smoke in every firing picture. The missile's inertial system monitored acceleration to ensure that the engine was throttled to keep to the precise predetermined trajectory, compensating for any atmospheric changes or disturbances. First Lance test flight was in March 1965. Tweaking of the design resulted in the Extended Range Lance (XRL), with a range of 140 km, eliminating the need to develop replacements for other short range second generation rockets. The decision was made to put only the XRL into production. This decision and problems with the engine resulted in tests extending from 1967 to 1971, with first deployment in May 1972. Lance missiles were armed with a W-70 variable-yield thermonuclear weapon (1 kT - 100 kT), with a convention warhead becoming available in the 1980's. The liquid propellant of the Lance inventory became an important resource when an explosion at a propellant plant resulted in insufficient liquid propellant in the United States to keep US Air Force Titan space launchers in service in the 1980's.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union the Lance's mission came to an end. All were withdrawn from service in 1991-1992. The Army put the conventional ATACMS into service as a replacement for the conventional Lances.


Weapons similar to or like MGM-52 Lance

Family of self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile systems developed by the Soviet Union and its successor state, the Russian Federation, and designed to counter cruise missiles, smart bombs, fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Successor to the NIIP/Vympel 2K12 Kub . Wikipedia

American project, conducted by the United States Navy, that was intended to develop a surface-to-surface missile for use as a fire support weapon during amphibious landings, replacing heavy-caliber naval guns. Cancelled before any hardware development was undertaken. Wikipedia

The Los Alamos Laboratory's entry into a brief competition between Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and Los Alamos to design an "enhanced-radiation" nuclear warhead for the United States Army's MGM-52 Lance tactical surface-to-surface missile. In July 1964, both Livermore Labs and Los Alamos started developing competing warheads for the Lance. Wikipedia

Canister launched hypersonic surface-to-surface tactical missile developed by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation for use by the Indian Armed Forces. Capable of carrying a payload of 200 kg to 1 ton conventional or nuclear warhead. Wikipedia

Soviet tactical ballistic missile. 9K79 its NATO reporting name is SS-21 Scarab. Wikipedia

Indian solid-fuel road-mobile tactical ballistic missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Expected to replace the Prithvi-I short-range ballistic missile in Indian service. Wikipedia

The United States Army Field Artillery School (USAFAS) trains Field Artillery Soldiers and Marines in tactics, techniques, and procedures for the employment of fire support systems in support of the maneuver commander. The school further develops leaders who are tactically and technically proficient, develops and refines warfighting doctrine, and designs units capable of winning on future battlefields. Wikipedia

Tactical, air-to-surface anti-radiation missile designed to home in on electronic transmissions coming from surface-to-air radar systems. Originally developed by Texas Instruments as a replacement for the AGM-45 Shrike and AGM-78 Standard ARM system. Wikipedia

Surface-to-air missile system, the primary of its kind used by the United States Army and several allied nations. Manufactured by the U.S. defense contractor Raytheon and derives its name from the radar component of the weapon system. Wikipedia

Long-range fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface, anti-ship missile. The later version '''Mk. Wikipedia


MGM-52 Lance

The LANCE was a mobile field artillery tactical missile system used to provide both nuclear and non-nuclear general fire support to the Army Corps. Designed to attack key enemy targets beyond the range of cannon artillery and to reinforce the fires of other artillery units, the LANCE replaced the HONEST JOHN system, fielded in 1954, and the SERGEANT system, deployed in 1962. It filled the U.S. Army?s need for a highly mobile, medium-range, fin stabilized, all weather, surface-to-surface missile weapon system. The LANCE?s primary mission targets included enemy missile firing positions, airfields, transportation centers, command and logistic installations, critical terrain features (defiles, bridgeheads, main supply routes, etc.), and large troop concentrations.

The missile was incrementally guided by a self-contained system using the Directional Control Automatic Meteorological (DCAM) Compensation concept. The LANCE missile was launched by a high thrust booster that propelled it out to 1500 meters. The boost phase direction was controlled by a gyro commanding secondary injection into the booster. The booster cut off and the variable thrust sustainer, controlled by an accelerometer, provided the exact amount of thrust to equal the missile drag. The result was a predictable trajectory that essentially eliminated errors caused by atmospheric disturbances or changes. The missile was aimed using field artillery techniques plus the variable booster time. Unlike other Army missiles that use solid propellants, the LANCE used a prepackaged, liquid fuel that eliminated any need for fueling in the field and gave the LANCE a short reaction time. It was capable of delivering nuclear warheads out to a range of about 75 miles and conventional warheads to a range of about 45 miles.

The missile system briefly gained notoriety as the "neutron bomb," after the Washington Post reported on the Army?s development of a warhead for the LANCE that would kill people but cause minimal destruction of property. The enhanced radiation warhead was designed to release within a restricted radius great quantities of neutrons which attacked the human central nervous system. The warhead would also reduce the heat and blast effects of conventional nuclear warheads, thereby reducing the destruction of buildings and collateral damage to civilian populated areas. Officials believed that the LANCE enhanced radiation warhead would deter a Soviet attack by threatening the U.S.S.R. with a weapon that could be used without destroying the Federal Republic of Germany in order to save it. Congress approved production funds for the new warhead on 13 July 1977, but President Jimmy Carter deferred production of the neutron warhead in April 1978.

Established under the U.S. Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) as the Missile "B" Project Office on 11 December 1961, the subsequently renamed LANCE was one of the original project management offices created with the activation of the U.S. Army Missile Command (MICOM) on 1 August 1962. The LANCE Missile System development began when MICOM issued a letter contract to Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV), prime contractor for the system, on 11 January 1963. Four months later, on 24 May, MICOM definitized the original letter contract as a cost-plus-incentive-fee (CPIF) contract, the first ever applied to a major U.S. Army weapon system. This CPIF contract was also unique because it covered the entire research and development phase of the LANCE program, and was one of the first Army contracts "certified" for Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)-Cost.

On 1 December 1970, the LANCE weapon system was elevated to a Class II activity assigned to U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) Headquarters, although it was still physically located at Redstone Arsenal (RSA). The project office returned to MICOM?s jurisdiction on 1 August 1974. The LANCE Project Office was terminated on 31 March 1980, and responsibility for the missile system transferred to the MICOM Weapon Systems Management Directorate (WSMD). Level II management of the system was subsequently provided by the MICOM Missile Logistics Center (later the Integrated Materiel Management Center) from July 1981 until FY 1992. Responsibility for the demilitarization and reuse of excess LANCE assets was transferred to the reestablished MICOM WSMD in FY 1993.

A family of field artillery missiles designated "A" to "D" was proposed for development in the 1965-70 timeframe. Missile "B" was to deliver a 1000-pound nuclear, non-nuclear, or chemical warhead to a range of 75 kilometers. Accuracy was set at 5 mils to encourage a low unit cost of the missile. The technical approach of DCAM was a perfect fit. Dr. William C. McCorkle and Mr. R.G. Conard of the Ordnance Missile Laboratories (OML) at Redstone Arsenal invented the DCAM guidance system. This was the first and perhaps the only Army missile system based on an OML invention.

The feasibility of the Automet was demonstrated by an experimental Missile "A" using a constant thrust booster with a variable aerodynamic drag missile. Missile "B" required the development of a unique variable thrust liquid engine. The technical recommendations in June 1961 were that this new engine be demonstrated before proceeding with a Missile "B" development program. On 9 May 1962, the Department of Defense (DOD) directed that the prime contractor for the Missile "B" development program be selected by 1 October 1962. On 1 November 1962, the Army selected the LTV team in Dallas, Texas, to do the work in the Michigan Army Missile Plant (MAMP). At this time, Missile "B" was renamed LANCE.

LTV immediately started the total system development with emphasis on meeting the schedule incentive for the first flight. Three LANCE missile configurations were planned for the development program: Engineering Model (EM) for development Tactical Prototype (TP) for transition to production and Production Model (PM) for hardtooled production line.

By April 1964, serious problems with the propulsion system caused the LANCE Project Office and LTV to put a team on-site at the subcontractor, Rocketdyne. The team identified technical and management problems involving more than propulsion, and corrective action was taken. The missile length had to be increased to compensate for reduced engine performance, while the schedule-driven program was changed to an event-driven logic using "Quantified Milestones" (QMs).

The first successful engine test occurred on 16 January 1965. The first flight test was conducted successfully on 15 March 1965. The LANCE DCAM concept was demonstrated by this flight, which experienced a 125-knot crosswind at apogee. Subsequent EM flights resulted in a test, fix, test approach. DOD moved LANCE from a Research and Development (R&D) category to one of General Purpose Forces in November 1965. The final block of six EM flight tests was completed successfully on 3 October 1966. The following month, recommendations for Limited Production (LP) were submitted to the Department of the Army (DA), which authorized LP procurement of 17 sets of ground support equipment (GSE) on 15 June 1967.

Studies in April 1965 showed that LANCE could extend its range to 75 miles by the use of a higher performance engine and larger fins, and by removing the ballast from the nuclear warhead. This meant that the Extended Range LANCE (XRL) could fill both the "B" and "C" missions. The Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research and Development) (ASA[R&D]) directed that the concept be demonstrated in time for an October 1966 XRL decision. Two experimental XRL missiles demonstrated the feasibility on 28 September 1966. DA approved development of XRL in March 1967. On 15 December 1967, the Secretary of the Defense directed that only the XRL configuration of LANCE be fielded.

The TP flight test program began in early 1967 with mixed results. The test program was halted on 20 October 1967 when the fifth TP missile blew up. A new diagnostic approach was developed to find the "Root Cause" of the failure. The failures were isolated to the most likely cause and the failure duplicated before the "Root Cause" was confirmed. Corrective action was then applied. The "Root Cause" of this failure was confirmed on 13 May 1968. The corrective action was appropriately known as SOS?Spring on Seal?to keep oxygen-rich gases from mixing with the hot, fuel-rich solid propellant gas generator gases. The new feed system was successfully flown on 30 August 1968 and subsequently certified by four more flights by March 1969.

The first XRL flight test was conducted successfully on 13 May 1969. However, on 11 July 1969, the XRL engine failed dramatically due to combustion instability. The diagnostic process was used to isolate the problem and then to direct the solution demonstrated on 24 October 1969. On 6 March 1970, the XRL maximum range and accuracy were successfully demonstrated. A senior In-Process Review (IPR) on 10 September 1970 recommended LP production of 75 missiles and cancelled the chemical warhead flights.

The first Engineering Test (ET)/Service Test (ST) failed on Friday, 13 August 1971. The "Root Cause" was a missile power interruption from the nuclear warhead. With corrective action, the flight tests continued until 30 November 1971, when a second nuclear warhead missile failed. This failure required a major redesign of the nuclear warhead circuitry. Another 12 missiles and 9 additional months were required to certify the redesign.

A Production Validation IPR held on 9 May 1972 recommended Type Classification Standard "A" (TC-STD-A) for the LANCE missile and an extension of the nuclear warhead LP quantities based on ET/ST results. Following a subsequent IPR, the nuclear warhead was declared TC-STD-A on 16 April 1973.

The non-nuclear warhead program progressed slowly due to a continuing problem with an XM41 munition high dud rate such that in the latter part of FY 1969 the standard M40 munition was explored for use with LANCE. On November 1971, Congress cancelled all funds for the non-nuclear warhead. A restart of the program was authorized in January 1973. By April 1974, 10 flight tests had been completed, but a redesign and retest of the main fuze was required. In 1976, the production go-ahead for 360 missiles was received.


M752 Lance

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/23/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Requiring a new tactical missile launcher for the battlefields of the Cold War, the United States military adopted the M752 "Lance" missile system. The vehicle was a tracked, self-propelled unit comprised of the launcher unit itself, the missile section and the resupply vehicle. The unit was made available to some allies of the period as well and remained active from 1972 until 1992.

The MGM-52 Lance missile component of the M752 carrier was manufactured by Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) and carried a warhead developed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The missiles were propelled by a liquid-propellant rocket motor out to ranges of 75 miles at speeds greater than Mach 3.0. An inertial guidance system provided direction and the warhead blast yield of the nuclear warheads measured 100 kilotons. Warheads could also consist of conventional payloads for anti-fortification, anti-tank duty. Over 2,100 missiles were produced and operated by the forces of the United States, Britain, Belgium, Israel, Italy, West Germany and the Netherlands.

The M752 carrier component was born from the M548 carrier family of vehicles. The M548 was developed to a Signal Corps requirement intending to carry the AN/MPQ-32 series counter-battery radar fit but this was not to be. Despite this, the M548 went on to find its value as the basis for several other tracked vehicle systems. Its running gear was based on that of the ubiquitous M113 (M113A1 production model) which permeated the inventories of many Western powers during the Cold War (with many in service even today - 2015).

The M548 went on to form the framework for the M667 vehicle which was then used to create both the M752 missile launcher/carrier as well as its resupply vehicle, the M688. The M667 design was differentiated from the base M548 by its narrower, lower profile cab and given a loading ramp at the rear of the hull as well as suspension locks for stability when loading/unloading its cargo. The M688 carried two missiles and appropriate loading hardware to replenish a spent M752 missile launcher unit. In this way, a single M752 had access to three total missiles in-the-field and were typically deployed in two launcher sets along with two corresponding reload vehicles providing six "ready-to-fire" missiles for the launch crew. Prior to firing, the cab roof was raised over the operator.


Air Force Fighters Almost Got An Air-Launched Ballistic Missile 40 Years Ago, Now They&rsquore A Hot Item

Public Domain / via Twitter

In the early 1980s, the U.S. Air Force planned to arm its tactical fighter jets with an air-launched ballistic missile. The Joint Tactical Missile System program was run jointly with the U.S. Army and would have given the Air Force its own improved version of the Lance quasi-ballistic missile. In some ways, the program had parallels with Russia’s Kinzhal missile, which The War Zone has examined in detail in the past and, more loosely, it shared similarities with the types of air-launched ballistic missiles now under development in China.

During the 1970s, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began to look at ways of attacking Warsaw Pact armor deep in enemy territory, without necessarily having to use nuclear weapons. The resulting Assault Breaker program brought together a range of different technologies — among them lasers, electro-optical sensors, airborne radars, and precision-guided munitions — to defeat these kinds of targets.


Watch the video: . Army MGM-52 Lance Missile. at Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pa.