Early Anti-Ship Guided Bombs

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Monkeyfume, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. Monkeyfume

    Monkeyfume New Member

    Nov 6, 2014
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    Could a Fritz X or AVON be fitted to most any bomber than was large enough to fit one?
    What modifications were required, and were they complex or rather simple?
  2. Koopernic

    Koopernic Active Member

    Dec 27, 2013
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    #2 Koopernic, Nov 18, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
    AZON stood for AZimuth ONly, the weapon could only be steered left or right.(cross range) it could not be steered forward backward (down range). I presume this limitation is because the fin area is too small. Because of the small wing the AZON could fit in the bomb bay of the B-24 Liberator. It had been intended to release a stick of AZON's and steer them by sending the same commands to all, however AZON, unlike ordinary bombs, didn't rotate and so the bombs actually dispersed more. The AZON was steered by CLOS command line of sight, a special bombsight was used that allowed the bombardier to look backwards since the bombs trailed the aircraft, another reason for not controlling for downrange. The system was used over the Reich but was more successful in the far east against Bridges and Roads. In some cases a P-38 with a bomb aimer in the nose was used to control the bomb, the P-38 flew higher and behind the B-24 and thus did not have alignment problems and was also harder to intercept and shoot at.

    The Fritz-X was a standard PC1400kg semi armour piercing bomb with 4 fins welded to it and a tail kit added. The bomb could be steered in all dimensions. Typically bomb release was conducted at high speed from about 22000-24000ft using the Lofte 7 computing bomb sight as per normal. The bomber then pulled out flaps and throttled back to both slow down and conducted a climb of about 2500-3000ft before resuming level flight. This aligned the bomb flare with the bomb aimer and target while the manoeuvre also threw of the enemies AAA predictors and anti aircraft. Quite energetic manoeuvres against rapidly evading high speed war ships were possible.

    The large fins made intermal carriage impossible but even a 1400kg semi armour piercing bomb is both streamlined and small.

    Load outs AFAIK remember
    1 Dornier Do 217 total of 2 though it was more usual to carry only 1 on the left wing and a 900L (200 imp gallon) drop tank under the right. Special Do 217 were used with larger wings.
    2 He 177 up to three
    3 Arado 234C one under the fuselage.

    The Fritz-X normally used a AM modulated guidance systems called Kehl-Strassbourg. If jamming was detected and effective there were antenna kits in stock (at least fort the Hs 293 rocket bomb) to radically change frequency but they were not needed as jamming was never detected. There was also a spooled wire controlled system, also an FM modulated system built as an alternative eg should jamming develop but not produced as it was not needed and a trailing wires system using a insulated 0.22mm steel piano wire spooling out from the inside of hollow bobbins.
    There was a mcrwave control system as well Kogge-Bigge that used directional antenna.

    Autonomous guidance was also being developed: a infrared system to home onto heat sources such as blast furnaces, "Raddischien"(Raddish) to home on to metric radars navigation beacons such as Loran or Oboe around 5m to 50cm, even an optical contrast TV homer by the "Fernseh" company. Blaupunkt had developed MAX_P to home on to the radars of allied night fighters and ground mapping radars for use in SAM missiles such as HS140 or Wasserfall. I don't see why it would have been used against an allied war ship.

    The Hs 293 series of glide bombs would had a TV guidance system called Tonne-Seedorf, more or less improved by the end of the war with sufficient resolution and contrast for use in European lighting conditions. Quartz Crystals were used to control the raster timming with synchronisation signals sarsly embed in the transmission to reduce the chance of jamming.
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Jan 18, 2009
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    Kehl control equipment plus Lotfernrohr 7 bomb sight were required for German MCLOS guided weapons. Luftwaffe also had purpose built simulator for training of weapon operators. An optional field kit allowed weapon conversion from radio guidance to wire guidance (i.e. secure from enemy jamming).

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