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RUM-139 VL-ASROC


Vertical Launch ASROC


Overview


RUM-139 VL-ASROC

RUM-139 VL-ASROC being launched from an American Arleigh Burke class destroyer in 2014.
Source: US Navy - © Public domain

Origin
United States
Type
Naval ASW system
Entered service
1993 for RUM-139A
2010 for RUM-139C
Status
In service
Development
1983 - Early 1990's
Developer
United States - Goodyear Aerospace / Loral Corporation
Production
Early 1990's - present
Producer
United States
Number produced
450 produced by 2007
Designations
VLA / Vertical Launch ASROC
Notable users
United States
Japan

Description


Introduction

The RUM-139 VL-ASROC is a modern era naval anti-submarine warfare system of United States origin. This missile provides standoff anti-submarine warfare capabilities to surface vessels.

Design

The VL-ASROC is a rocket that drops a parachute retarded lightweight torpedo at a predetermined area, providing standoff range to engage enemy submarines. The VL-ASROC is launched vertically from the Mk 41 vertical launch system, which is also used with various other types of missiles. A solid propellant booster section provides initial altitude and velocity. A second solid propellant booster rocket propels the missile in flight. At a pre-calculated point the torpedo payload is released.

Firepower

A single 324mm lightweight torpedo is the lethal cargo that the VL-ASROC carries. In early models this was the Mk 46 Mod 5 NEARTIP torpedo. A version with Mk 50 torpedo was tested and cancelled. The Mk 54 torpedo is carried by the latest iteration. Operational range of the VL-ASROC is 22 km. Some sources indicate a range of 28 km.

Users

The two main operators of the VL-ASROC are the US Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Both navies employ the RUM-139 VL-ASROC in large numbers on their destroyers. In US service there are reportedly four missiles per Arleigh Burke class destroyer, although mix of missiles can be altered based on mission profile.

Variants


RUM-139 VL-ASROC

RUM-139 VL-ASROC being launched from an American Arleigh Burke class destroyer in 2016.
Source: US Navy - © Public domain

List of VL-ASROC variants

RUM-139A
Original production model, introduced 1993. Carries Mk 46 Mod 5 as payload.
RUM-139B
Updated model introduced in 1996. With Mod 5A shallow water update for Mk 46 torpedo.
RUM-139C
New variant with Mk 54 torpedo, introduced in 2004.
RTM-139
Training model.

Details


Facts RUM-139 VL-ASROC
General
Origin
United States
Type
Anti-submarine rocket
Dimensions
Length
5.09 m
Diameter
0.358 m
Wingspan
0.696 m
Weight
748 kg
Guidance
Terminal phase
None, torpedo released at pre-determined point
Initial phase
Inertial navigation system
Warhead
Type
324mm lightweight torpedo
Mk 46 Mod 5 in RUM-139A
Mk 46 Mod 5A in RUM-139B
Mk 54 in RUM-139C
Engagement envelope
Propulsion
Solid propellant rocket motor
Solid propellant booster section
Speed
Mach 0.9
Range
22 km (some sources indicate 28 km)
Launch cannister
Weight
1.45 t including VL-ASROC missile
Diameter
Square, 0.635 m by 0.635 m
Length
5.84 m

Media


Platforms


Murasame class

Japanese class of destroyer, 9 ships in class. Forward 16-cell Mk 41 VLS specifically fitted for RUM-139 VL-ASROC.

Takanami class

Japanese class of destroyer, 5 ships in class.

Kongo class

Japanese class of destroyer, 4 ships in class.

Atago class

Japanese class of destroyer, 2 ships in class.

Ticonderoga class

American class of cruisers. Carried by the late model Ticonderogas with Mk 41 VLS systems.

Hyuga class

Japanese class of helicopter carrier, 2 ships in class. Normally 12 out of 16 cell Mk 41 VLS to be fitted with VL-ASROC.

Related articles


RUR-5 ASROC

The VL-ASROC is the successor of the RUR-5 ASROC, a similar shorter range weapon that required an octuple launcher.

Type 07

Japanese next generation successor to the VL-ASROC.

Mk 46

The Mk 46 Mod 5 torpedo is the payload of the RUM-139A and B variants of the VL-ASROC.