Navy Test Missiles
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Sidan uppdaterad: 2015-11-23 19:06
Navy Test missiles
General information about the Swedish Royal Navy Test Missiles
During the war, beginning in 1944, the Swedish Navy started a development project on guided missiles in cooperation with the Army for their defense services. It was the officer in charge of the Torpedo Office in the Royal Naval Material Administration, Commander Johan Gabriel Oxenstierna, who together with the Chief Officer of the Armament Division, Lieutenant Colonel Harald Jentzén, later promoted to Major General, drew up the guidelines to produce an “aerial torpedo” that would cover the need for a sea target and a coastal missile as well as a surface missile.
At the same time similar plans were considered for the development of an air-to-air and an air-to-surface missile for the Air Force. The air-to-surface missile was mainly intended to replace the
45 centimeter water torpedoes, which were released from an aircraft.
All of this development fell within the responsibility of the Royal Swedish Air Force Material Aministration. (KFF)
J.G. Oxenstierna was appointed as responsible for compiling basic data for the development program of the aerial torpedo.
It was convenient to closely study the controlled projectiles, made by the Germans and especially those versions that could be suitable for the Navy and the Army. It was the suchlike aircraft, the pulse jet motor equipped V-1 missile, which was chosen as the role model for the aerial torpedo.
Some knowledge had been obtained from the six V-1 test bombs (without warheads), which had accidentally crashed in Southern Sweden, after being launched from the Rocket Research Test Facilities at Peenemünde.
Shortly after the end of the war English authorities were contacted and a study delegation travelled to England under the guidance of Lieutenant-Colonel H. Jentzén. The English had collected a substantial amount of parts from the various German projectiles, partly from the assembly line production, and partly from the development during the final stages of the war. The delegation brought home a steering control unit for the V-1 bomb and some information about the pulse jet motor.
The Swedish Navy Material Administration submitted the project to SAAB for the production of a so called “aerial torpedo”, similar to the V-1 projectile. With the pulse jet motor and its relatively simple steering control unit it was judged to be a cheap missile that could quickly be manufactured for the experimental work.
The Turbine Company ALÅ (Alfa Laval Ångturbiner Ltd.) and STAL in Finspång were engaged for further development of the pulse jet motor and Bofors was accountable for the booster rockets. SAAB served as the uniting party for the entire project.
In order to cope with the technical aspect of the missile control, contact was made with a number of Swedish companies such as SAAB, NAF, AGA et al.
The first order to SAAB for five air torpedo airframes is dated October 9, 1945. The deliveries were scheduled for the beginning of June 1946. The test firings at Karlsborg started approx. one year after the order date.
Together, The Royal Navy and the Army searched for suitable test sites and finally the PCK and LV areas along the beaches of Lake Vättern were chosen, where earlier military fields of fire had been established. The test site was then labeled as RFK.
Late in the fall of 1946 J. G. Oxenstierna visited SAAB with a proposal to SAAB, asking whether they were prepared to design a control unit for the previously ordered aerial torpedoes. Commander Oxenstierna brought as illustrative material the V-1 control unit that had been brought home from England.
SAAB accepted with great interest the assignment. SAAB’s foremost specialist in gyro - and servo systems, Bengt Sylvan M.Sc. designed an all Swedish control unit with the pertaining servo systems. Right from the beginning these control units were more advanced than the V-1 design as the demand for low, strafing flights were required.
The monitoring units; the homing and the altimeter units included in the aerial torpedoes, were planned to be introduced during a later period of the development phase,
During the years 1946 – 1958, a total number of 85 RB 310 missiles were produced. Approximately 190 tests and test firings were done with these missiles. The initial missiles were produced by SAAB. Approximately 70 missiles were manufactured and fully equipped at CVA (Central Workshop Arboga) through a mandate from KFF Missile Bureau.
On September 18, 1947 KMF (The Royal Navy Material Administration) ordered for the manufacture of a new series of ten air torpedoes of various designs, designated as RB 311, for KMF and KATF (The Royal Army Material Administration). Then SAAB produced approximately 50 RB 311 missiles. In the beginning of the 1950’s the manufacturing was transferred to CVA, and about 100 RB 311 missiles were produced.
The missiles RB 310 and RB 341 were technically viewed as copies of the German V-1 bomb. The missiles were fired from a launcher with a booster rocket and were then propelled by a pulse jet motor along its course. The pulse jet motor was successively improved and modified by STAL and furnished with among other things a side inlet valve lattice that made it possible to join the motor and missile hull to one common airframe.
The missiles RB 310 and 311 were eventually followed by the missile RB 315, which became the first missile armament on the destroyers HMS Halland and HMS Småland and missile RB 316 was an identical missile intended as a coastal missile. In addition to the recessed pulse jet motor also a booster rocket with 4 thrust nozzles was recessed into the missile body. Altogether about 190 missiles of RB 315/RB 316 types were made during the 1950’s.
Some eighty firings were done from catapults. Eight missiles were fired from the destroyers HMS Halland and HMS Småland.
Around the year 1957 the project RB 315 was cancelled by the Missile Department, which created a benefit for the resource concentration on the Air Force air-to- surface missile RB 304.
Therefore the Navy promptly needed to find a replacement without any adjustment to the time schedule. After studying a number of alternatives the Navy decided to initiate a development of the French missile M 20. The project was based on the existing target missile CT 20.
SAAB was appointed as the uniting party for the entire project. These missiles received the Swedish designation RB 08.