Cold Launch

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Cold Launch

Postby Nou on Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:40 pm

I have heard from a few sources and seen a couple posts here saying that one of the benefits of cold launch is that you could re-load the silo quickly...

Were there actually any plans to do this, or was this just an added bonus side-effect? Seems rather pointless to try to reload one in war time and I imagine storing tubed, ready to fire PK's with RV's out next to a silo would be something of a security risk!


I bet it did make it easier for the people at Vandy to test fire!
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Re: Cold Launch

Postby Crewdog on Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:14 pm

Nou wrote:I have heard from a few sources and seen a couple posts here saying that one of the benefits of cold launch is that you could re-load the silo quickly...

Were there actually any plans to do this, or was this just an added bonus side-effect? Seems rather pointless to try to reload one in war time and I imagine storing tubed, ready to fire PK's with RV's out next to a silo would be something of a security risk!


I bet it did make it easier for the people at Vandy to test fire!


I don't think I'm saying anything classified since you can read about this stuff in AF Magazine, Popular Science, and tons of other sources...matter of fact I wrote a paper for my ROTC class about this in the 1970's.

When they first conceptualized PK one of the deployment options was cold launch from converted MM silos. As a matter of fact I saw some Googled pictures of test launches from Vandy where they pointed to the canister falling off and the missile going on its merry way. I'm not a PK guy, so what they actually deployed is beyond my ability to say.

But cold launch wasn't all about quick recycling of the silo; it also saved fuel and increased the range of the sortie or allowed for a larger payload. That's just a generalization without going into the fine legal points of SALT and START, even though Ivan didn't seem to care too much about those nuances.
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Re: Cold Launch

Postby Nou on Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:41 pm

Crewdog wrote:
Nou wrote:I have heard from a few sources and seen a couple posts here saying that one of the benefits of cold launch is that you could re-load the silo quickly...

Were there actually any plans to do this, or was this just an added bonus side-effect? Seems rather pointless to try to reload one in war time and I imagine storing tubed, ready to fire PK's with RV's out next to a silo would be something of a security risk!


I bet it did make it easier for the people at Vandy to test fire!


I don't think I'm saying anything classified since you can read about this stuff in AF Magazine, Popular Science, and tons of other sources...matter of fact I wrote a paper for my ROTC class about this in the 1970's.

When they first conceptualized PK one of the deployment options was cold launch from converted MM silos. As a matter of fact I saw some Googled pictures of test launches from Vandy where they pointed to the canister falling off and the missile going on its merry way. I'm not a PK guy, so what they actually deployed is beyond my ability to say.

But cold launch wasn't all about quick recycling of the silo; it also saved fuel and increased the range of the sortie or allowed for a larger payload. That's just a generalization without going into the fine legal points of SALT and START, even though Ivan didn't seem to care too much about those nuances.


Yea, I knew that they did store them in tubes for cold launch. I recall someone on here saying that basing them in old MM silos they had to because the PK's were much wider and if they did a normal launch it would have damaged/destroyed the missile.

I was just wondering if they actually planned to base "reloadable" PK's at LF's or close by. Of course this would have just made them extra sure to get hit in a strike...

On another note, Cold Launch has to be the coolest way to launch... The SS-18 cold launching, that was amazing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnUiG9Nb1lI That thing is a monster...
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Re: Cold Launch

Postby Crewdog on Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:51 pm

Nou wrote:I was just wondering if they actually planned to base "reloadable" PK's at LF's or close by. Of course this would have just made them extra sure to get hit in a strike...

On another note, Cold Launch has to be the coolest way to launch... The SS-18 cold launching, that was amazing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnUiG9Nb1lI That thing is a monster...


Oh I get you now, my bad. Sorry, like I said I'm not a PK guy so you'll have to wait until one of them reads this and can provide an intelligent answer.
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Re: Cold Launch

Postby Nou on Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:20 am

Anyone have any schematics/photos of the cold launch system?

As I understand it was fully self contained system placed in the MM silos?
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Re: Cold Launch

Postby Hanna on Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:27 pm

The only reason it was cold launch was due to the original plan for it to be railmobile -- from the mouth of one of the engineers to Top Handers who asked why.
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Re: Cold Launch

Postby MJohnson on Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:42 am

PK used cold launch in the silo because if it were fired in the hole like MM, it would burn itself up. The 1st stage alone weighed more that the whole MM missile. While reload was technically possible it was not something planned for. The launch tube was open on the 1st LER. Even though the 1st stage lit almost 100 ft in the air, most of the electronics and other support equipment would have been burnt to a crisp and required replacement. At Vandy, the launch tube was solid all the way to the roof of the first LER and all the holes in it were plugged for test launches. The canister was almost identical to some of the sub canisters. I can't remember exactly what it said, but on the nomenclature tag on the side of the canister, it said something like "defense contractor xyz, maritime division". Cold launch is kind of a misnomer anyway; it used a steam generator consisting of about 50 gallons of water and an explosive charge that turned it all to steam in an instant.
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Re: Cold Launch

Postby Nou on Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:54 am

MJohnson wrote:PK used cold launch in the silo because if it were fired in the hole like MM, it would burn itself up. The 1st stage alone weighed more that the whole MM missile. While reload was technically possible it was not something planned for. The launch tube was open on the 1st LER. Even though the 1st stage lit almost 100 ft in the air, most of the electronics and other support equipment would have been burnt to a crisp and required replacement. At Vandy, the launch tube was solid all the way to the roof of the first LER and all the holes in it were plugged for test launches. The canister was almost identical to some of the sub canisters. I can't remember exactly what it said, but on the nomenclature tag on the side of the canister, it said something like "defense contractor xyz, maritime division". Cold launch is kind of a misnomer anyway; it used a steam generator consisting of about 50 gallons of water and an explosive charge that turned it all to steam in an instant.


Thanks! :)

Welcome to the forums too!
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Re: Cold Launch

Postby SAC Killer on Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:17 pm

If I recall correctly, PK also needed the canister for handling. The stages were so heavy they would deform when horizontal if not held in shape by the canister.
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Re: Cold Launch

Postby exPKer on Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:24 am

Canister extensions were used at Vandenberg to protect the LER,s from ignition. We also had carriages for each stage that were transferred between the Type II's and emplacers for removal and installation of stages, these also provided horizontal support during transportation.
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Re: Cold Launch

Postby Nou on Wed May 13, 2009 5:22 am

Found a good pic of the canister.

Image


Super hi-res photo below....
http://www.defenseimagery.mil/imageRetr ... Height=538
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