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RUR-5 ASROC



Overview


Mk 112 ASROC launcher

RGM-84 Harpoon being launched from a Mk 112 ASROC launcher.
Source: US Navy (photographer unknown) - © public domain

Origin
United States
Type
Naval ASW system
Entered service
1961
Status
Limited service
Development
Early 1950's - Late 1950's
Developer
United States - Naval Ordnance Test Station Pasadena
United States - Honeywell
Production
1960's - ?
Producer
United States - Honeywell
Unit cost
$ 350.000 per rocket without warhead
Number produced
Over 200 launch systems
575 W44 nuclear depth charges
Designations
ASROC | Anti-Submarine ROCket
Matchbox (nickname for Mk 112 launcher)
RAT-C | Rocket Assisted Torpedo type C (early project name)
Type 74 (Mk 16 launcher in Japanese service)
Notable users
United States
Japan

Description


Introduction

The RUR-5 ASROC is a Cold War era naval anti-submarine warfare system of US origin. It was developed in the 1950's to provide US navy ships with an all weather stand-off system to combat the increasing threat posed by nuclear submarines. The RUR-5 ASROC remains in service in some nations. In US service the RUM-139 VL-ASROC replaced the older RUR-5.

Design

The ASROC is a long and thin missile with a solid propellant rocket motor. There are four small wings in the center and four larger wings near the nozzle. The front half of the missiles consists of the payload, which is most often a 324mm lightweight torpedo. Alternatively a nuclear depth charge is fitted. The payload is dropped at the target area using a parachute.

Guidance

The ASROC missile uses inertial guidance in order to drop off its payload at the calculated point of impact. A firing solution is calculated using input from the ship's sonar, or based on external inputs by friendly units. Based on the firing solution the launcher is trained and elevated. The missile follows a ballistic trajectory and makes only minor course corrections.

Firepower

The ASROC missile carries is most often fitted with a lightweight acoustic homing torpedo, such as the Mk 44 and Mk 46. These lightweight torpedoes are also used by helicopters and on surface vessels. An alternative warhead option is the W44 nuclear depth charge with a 10 kt yield. Maximum range of the ASROC is about 19 km.

Launchers

The main launcher associated with the ASROC is the Mk 112 octuple launcher. Depending on the placement this launcher provides a 360 degree arc of fire. The Mk 112 can be placed on top of a Mk 4 ASROC Weapons Handling System which houses 16 additional missiles below deck. This setup is used in the Spruance class. ASROC missiles can also be launched by other US launch systems. These include the twin arm Mk 26 Guided Missile Launching System and late model Mk 10 GMLS twin arm launchers.

Users

The ASROC was fitted to many types of American destroyers. Many older types of destroyers were upgraded with the ASROC. The Spruance class of destroyers featured a dedicated automatic loading system below deck. It was also widely exported to US allies. The most notable export user is Japan, with the ASROC present on many classes of Japanese ships.

Details


Facts RUR-5 ASROC
General
Origin
United States
Type
Anti-submarine rocket
Launch platform
Ships
Dimensions
Length
4.50 m
Diameter
0.42 m
Wingspan
0.68 m
Weight
487 kg
Guidance
Terminal phase
None
Initial phase
Inertial navigation
Warhead
Conventional variant
Mk 44 or Mk 46 lightweight torpedo
Nuclear variant
W44 10-kt nuclear depth charge
Engagement envelope
Propulsion
Solid propellant rocket motor
Speed
Subsonic
Range
19 km

Warhead types


Mk 44

The conventional variant of the RUR-5 was originally fitted with the Mk 44 torpedo. Introduced in 1961.

W44

The nuclear variant of the RUR-5 ASROC was fitted with the W44 nuclear depth charge. Introduced in 1961. The 10 kt warhead sinks to a predetermined depth and explodes. A total of 575 W44 were produced. By 1989 all nuclear depth charges were removed from service.

Mk 46

The majority of RUR-5 ASROC were fitted with the Mk 46 torpedo. The the mid or late 1960's early variants of the Mk 46 were used. In the 1980's the NEARTIP variants became available.

Mk 50

Reportedly a limited number of RUR-5 ASROC in US service have been fitted with the deep diving Mk 50 lightweight torpedo. The Mk 50 was also proposed for the RUM-139 VL-ASROC, but never fitted.

Details


Facts W44
General
Origin
United States
Type
Nuclear depth charge
Dimensions
Diameter
34.9 cm
Length
64 cm
Weight
77 kg
Warhead
Yield
10 kiloton
Fuse
Explodes at predetermined depth
Delivery
Delivery vehicle
RUR-5 ASROC
Guidance
None

Media