Lot #7762
Bullpup Missile Fin Can and Tail

This lot has closed

Estimate: $25000+

Description

Bullpup missile fin can and tail, marked on the side: "Naval Ordnance Station, Indian Head, Maryland, Date Loaded 10/61, Sustainer, Guided Missile MK 8 Mod 2 S/N HH-11-R, Buord Dwg. No. 63555 Rev. B Plus 051600."

This piece will be crated and shipped from California; the buyer is responsible for all associated costs. This item is ITAR restricted; no export or sale to non-US citizens.

Development of Bullpup began in 1953 when Korean War experience demonstrated the almost complete inability for conventional bombing to attack point land targets like bridges. The weapon was guided by the launch aircraft through the manual command to line of sight (MCLOS) method, with the pilot visually tracking the flight of the missile via two bright flares in the weapon's tail. The pilot guided the missile using a small joystick in the airplane cockpit. The position of the receiver antenna on the weapon meant that the aircraft had to continue flying in roughly the same direction as the missile in order for the signals to be received from the AN/ARW-73 transmitter, and due to the location of the cockpit on the aircraft, this generally meant the aircraft had to be in a dive toward the target throughout the approach.

This B version of the Bullpup enlarged the warhead to 1,000 pounds and upgraded the solid motor to a liquid Thiokol LR58 with much higher thrust.

In its most famous early use in Vietnam, sixteen Air Force F-105s carrying two AGM-12Bs were part of the group of aircraft that attacked the Thanh Hóa Bridge on 3 April 1965. Because the weapon was manually guided, each aircraft had to line up for attack twice in separate passes. The bridge was undamaged, as the Bullpups simply bounced off the bridge.

In addition to the lack of destructive power, the requirement to carry out separate passes for each release, and the need to continue guiding the weapon through its flight, led the Air Force to conclude the weapon was inadequate. This item is ITAR restricted; no export or sale to non-US citizens.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space Exploration
  • Dates: #646 - Ended October 20, 2022