Smart missiles in the Gulf War (first one)

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by beetroot4000, Feb 13, 2013.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I was having a discussion today with an Aeronautical Engineer.
    We were discussion, flight and planes, and stealth aircraft and the like, which he then proceeded to talk about smart missiles.

    He told me that he once worked with a guy who served with the RAF during the Gulf War, who told him this story.
    That during the fighting in Kuwait the RAF decided there was a particular APC in a built up area that needed to be destroyed.
    So the RAF fired some sort of "smart missile" to destroy this APC, this missle was so advanced that it flew down the middle of a street surrounded by buildings for some distance, at the end of the street it went straight through a car parked on the side of the road (through the rear window), not exploding and carried on the destroy the APC.
    And supposedly it was a common sight in the war to see "smart missiles" flying through the streets of the towns.

    I reckon its BS.
    I know they had many guided bombs and missiles then some of which would be capable of this story.
    But would I be right in thinking that missiles in a built up area would be inclined to come down on the target from a high angle, not fly through the streets to hit a target?

    Can anyone confirm this story or was he mistaken?
  2. John Humphries had one go past his hotel room; caught on video IIRC
  3. Cruise missiles, but I doubt if the target was an APC.
  4. I observed cruise missiles pretty much doing this on Granby. They were flying off GPS programmed routes to the targets which had them flying above building height until their terminal approach. These routes tended to use visible map features such as prominent road junctions as IPs. So yes, in essence the story is true.


  5. Here's one

  6. its bollocks.

    in GWI the only air to ground guided weapons the RAF posessed were Paveway LGB's - with a right abortion of a designation set up that could only be provided by an aircraft the Tornado was supposed to replace, and ALARM anti-radar missiles.

    LGB's fall out of the sky at 45 degrees plus, so won't be travelling through one car to get to another taget, ALARM isn't going to used on an APC unless it had a radar sat on top of it.

    worth nothing that all of these weapons are quite big - the LGB's were all (from recall) 500kg+.

    'normal' cruise missiles may have followed street plans, but the RAF didn't have any, and they would not have been used to destroy an APC.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Not sure whether or not the Tomahawks used in 1991 had GPS or relied on TERCOM and inertial guidance.
  8. OK the cruise missiles were US but basically the story stands. Anyway I thought the RAF borrowed a few from the uS to trial.


  9. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    is a shot down tornado classed as a smart or dumb munition?
  10. of course it does - apart from wrong weapon, wrong nation firing it, wrong taget and utterly bollocks 'went through the windscreens of a car to get to the APC' claim.

    i'm sure it all stands up perfectly well.

    the UK did not borrow any US air launched cruise missiles - unless of couse we're to believe that the RAF has a submarine fleet - because the RAF does not, and did not at the time, posess an aircraft large enough to accomodate a Tommahawk ALCM.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    Yep, Brent Sadler, not John Humphries. And cruise missiles, not what we generally term now as 'smart bombs'.
  12. Thank God!! NATO pissed away £120 million in Libya by firing them at Toyota pick up carrying ragheads about. It already cost us £208 million to keep the Tornados and Typhoons flying, giving them weapons to drop would have just been silly!

    As it is, HMS Triumph fired approx 70 of a cost of near on £1m each!

    House of Commons - Defence Committee: Written evidence from Squadron Leader R T Snare RAF (Retd) FRAeS
  13. The high cost of smart weaponry has been tackled by the MoD in consultation with BAE and the affordable solution may just be visible in this photo....


    ....the nose cone, near the tip.......can you see's quite small........a bayonet lug?
    • Like Like x 4
  14. PAVE SPIKE on Buccaneer was supplemented later on, when the MoD turned around to Ferranti Electro-=Optics Division, and asked whether they could take the pre-production prototypes of TIALD off to war. Instead of a single-channel, manually-controlled designator (we had a presentation from one of the Bucc pilots who flew the PAVE SPIKE missions, a couple of years afterwards*), the TIALD was a dual-channel, stabilized, state-of-the-then-art thing.

    Bear in mind that this was the prototype kit - built with wire-wrap, finished in a nice gloss white - and only part-way through trials. There was a certain degree of sucking of teeth an prayer to the Gods of Engineering, a spray-can of sand-coloured paint, some black felt-tip pen artwork applied to the pods (they were nicknamed "Sandra" and "Tracey", so those who read Viz can guess the art), and off they went to war. And worked; AIUI, they flew them as a pair so that they had a backup, but they apparently didn't have any mission failures.

    They had one of the pods on a plinth at Abbey Wood a few years later, still in sand and felt-tip. Shame about TIALD - post Gulf War, post Cold War, the "wow, this is fantastic kit, thanks for pushing the boat out guys" turned into "errr... we're going to have to delay the production contract, we don't know for how long, we don't know how many we'll want, did we say next year? We meant the year after, sorry if you can't afford to keep on your assembly workers". The factory where they were designed is now a housing estate...

    * The other presenter of the evening had been Adjt of an Armd Inf BG in 4 Bde; whenever said RAF chap described the problems of fighting a war from a suite on the 15th floor of the Dhahran Hilton, disco and bar above, you could see him thinking back to a month of shellscrapes and hard routine...