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Swingfire Marks


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#1 Bob_Mackenzie

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 1258 PM

Gents

The Swingfire missile went through at least 4 marks AFAIK. Does anyone know the differences in the marks?

Thanks

Bob
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#2 JW Collins

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 1316 PM

For a missile with such a long production run there doesn't seem to be much information out there about it.


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#3 Bob_Mackenzie

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 1306 PM

I agree, not much at all. There are some files in the Nationa Archives and I may well take a look when I'm next there.

 

I'm sure there are some ex BAOR men out there who have the answers :)


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#4 DB

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 1826 PM

The only thing I recall (from a plate at the Tank Museum from years ago) was that there was a change from MCLOS to SACLOS at some point. Not really useful, I know.


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#5 ramontxo

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 0721 AM

Some cuestions... How did it (the Swingfire) compare with Hot and Tow?, The 27 kg weight refered in Wiki was in a ready to launch configuration?, Was the MCLOS guidance mode deliberate and could the SACLOS had been developed from the start? As always thanks a lot...


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#6 ramontxo

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 0722 AM

Some cuestions... How did it (the Swingfire) compare with Hot and Tow?, The 27 kg weight refered in Wiki was in a ready to launch configuration?, Was the MCLOS guidance mode deliberate and could the SACLOS had been developed from the start? As always thanks a lot...


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#7 CaptLuke

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 1113 AM

Some cuestions... How did it (the Swingfire) compare with Hot and Tow?, The 27 kg weight refered in Wiki was in a ready to launch configuration?, Was the MCLOS guidance mode deliberate and could the SACLOS had been developed from the start? As always thanks a lot...

 

Swingfire filled a similar niche as the others, but but came into service a few years before TOW with the decidedly inferior MCLOS guidance (compared to TOW and HOT's SACLOS).

 

This did, however, give Swingfire one tactical advantage: you could hide the launcher, well separated from the operator, and then 'swing' the missile through a turn of up to 90 degrees to guide it to the target (hence the missile's name).  I deeply suspect this 'advantage' sounded much better on paper than in the field but haven't seen any employment information to confirm/deny this.  

 

Seeing the limitations of MCLOS, the UK upgraded Swingfire to an interesting hybrid guidance system in 1995 for continued use on their Striker vehicle.  This was called Swingfire Improved Guidance (SWIG) and there's a good explanation of it on Army Guide here, but the pull quote is this:

 

The improved system offers a simple to use ACLOS (Automatic Command to Line Of Sight) guidance mode so reducing operator training needs. The existing MANCLOS (Manual Command to Line Of Sight) mode is retained, for direct fire reversionary capability, as is the versatile separated fire mode, where the operator can be positioned remotely, up to 100 m from the launching vehicle.

 


Edited by CaptLuke, 08 November 2014 - 1123 AM.

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#8 ramontxo

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 1217 PM

Thanks (and sorry for the double post..)


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#9 Bob_Mackenzie

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 1242 PM

Some cuestions... How did it (the Swingfire) compare with Hot and Tow?, The 27 kg weight refered in Wiki was in a ready to launch configuration?, Was the MCLOS guidance mode deliberate and could the SACLOS had been developed from the start? As always thanks a lot...

There is a document in the national Archives dealing with the correspondance around procurement of Milan. The docs describe different options including a SACLOS "light" Swingfire, so it appaers possible for it to have been fitted


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#10 Dawes

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 1841 PM

The different Marks were probably combinations of the below warheads/assemblage to some extent:

 

1 65515-10 T6/1420-99-964-2511 GM Main Assemblage K13A5

2 65540-22 T6/1336-99-963-4661 GM Head Practice K19A2

3 65540-23 T6/1336-99-965-9145 GM Head Practice K19A3

4 65540-23 T6/1336-99-754-7281 GM Head Practice K19A4

5 65545-01 T6/1336-99-965-4770 GM Head Practice Inert K32A1 Obsolescent

6 65545-02 T6/1336-99-965-6722 GM Head practice Inert K32A2 Obsolescent

7 65550-20 T6/1336-99-966-0337 Warhead GM Heat K33A1

8 65550-21 T6/1336-99-252-5240 Warhead GM HEAT K33A2

9 65577-22 T6/1410-99-966-4062 GM HEAT K13A5/K33A1 (K78A1)

10 65577-23 T6/1410-99-252-5241 GM HEAT K13A5/K33A2 (K78A2)

11 65588-01 T6/1410-99-965-9802 GM Practice K13A5/K19A3 (K79A1)

12 65588-02 T6/1410-99-965-5639 GM Practice K13A5/K19A2 (K79A2)

13 65588-03 T6/1410-99-252-4545 GM Practice K13A5/K19A4 (K79A3)

14 65588-11 T6/1410-99-965-5638 GM Practice (Inert) K13A5/K32A1 (K80A1) Used in BATUS only

15 65588-12 T6/1410-99-965-8392 GM Practice (Inert) K13A5/K32A2 (K80A2) Used in BATUS only (Obsolescent)

16 65588-13 T7/1410-99-221-0554 GM Drill K34A1 Weighted launcher box


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#11 Bob_Mackenzie

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 1347 PM

Interesting lists, there must be docs out there describing the different types of warheads


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#12 Sovngard

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 1011 AM

Seeing the limitations of MCLOS, the UK upgraded Swingfire to an interesting hybrid guidance system in 1995 for continued use on their Striker vehicle.  This was called Swingfire Improved Guidance (SWIG)


So, the Swingfire anti-tank missile relied on MCLOS guidance during much of its service life ?


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#13 CaptLuke

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 1259 PM

 

So, the Swingfire anti-tank missile relied on MCLOS guidance during much of its service life ?

 

 

Yes, it was introduced about 1966 and didn't get the SWIG upgrade till 1995 (so almost 30 years with MCLOS) compared to 1995 (SWIG) till roughly 2005 when Javelin replaced it (only 10 years with SACLOS guidance).

 

My impression was that Swingfire was the last, and maybe the best, of the MCLOS ATGM.  Only the somewhat inexplicable, and probably inferior, Argentine Mathogo being introduced after it (in 1978!).  Other than Mathogo, I think it was all SACLOS after the Swingfire.  Dates are approximate, but should be close enough for illustration:

  • pre-1966: whole bunch of MCLOS, notably the SS-11 in 1956 and 9M14 Malyutka (AT-3 Sagger) in 1963
  • 1966 Swingfire introduced
  • 1970 TOW introduced
  • 1970 9K111 Fagot (AT-4 Spigot)
  • 1972 MILAN
  • 1974 9M113 Konkurs (AT-5 Spandrel)
  • 1975 Dragon
  • 1977 HOT

Edited by CaptLuke, 21 January 2017 - 1339 PM.

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#14 Chris Werb

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 1308 PM

 

Seeing the limitations of MCLOS, the UK upgraded Swingfire to an interesting hybrid guidance system in 1995 for continued use on their Striker vehicle.  This was called Swingfire Improved Guidance (SWIG)


So, the Swingfire anti-tank missile relied on MCLOS guidance during much of its service life ?

 

 

MCLOS with autopilot assistance which apparently made a big difference.


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#15 Nikolas93TS

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 2205 PM

 

 

Seeing the limitations of MCLOS, the UK upgraded Swingfire to an interesting hybrid guidance system in 1995 for continued use on their Striker vehicle.  This was called Swingfire Improved Guidance (SWIG)


So, the Swingfire anti-tank missile relied on MCLOS guidance during much of its service life ?

 

 

MCLOS with autopilot assistance which apparently made a big difference.

 

 

I guess that autopilot assistance is extremely similar to "velocity control" method of Vigilant missiles, relying on gyroscopes, rather than the simpler "acceleration control" of contemporary MCLOS missiles. Vigilant's autopilot uses a gyroscope to maintain a straight flight path directly away from the launch point, compensating for any wind buffeting. When the operator moves the joystick, the missile applies a steering correction in the appropriate direction, once the joystick is released the opposite correction is applied automatically, keeping the missile travelling directly away from the launch point. "Velocity control" also reduced time-lag between command input and missile response, lowering minimal range and improving accuracy. Not exactly SACLOS, but it was reportedly appreciated for accuracy and ease of use. 

 

It is quite a shame Vigilant never saw service worth of notice, but since Swingfire had similar guidance method (plus it was more modern and performing missile) I can understand why it was kept for so long.


Edited by Nikolas93TS, 28 December 2017 - 2212 PM.

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#16 Nikolas93TS

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 2211 PM

Is it likely Mk.2 included a warhead improvements? Some sources noted the Swingfire penetration as "up to 2ft thick" (~610mm), and some estimates go up to 800mm. Former sounds feasible with waveshaper, latter is unlikely IMHO. Nevertheless, waveshapers (from what I have gathered) were more of 1970s technology but I don't exclude a possibility Swingfire had it from start.

 

One reports says that Arab-British Dynamics (founded as a joint-venture company in 1978 by the Arab Organization for Industrialization and British-owned BAE Systems at 70/30 share) developed a Mk 2 HEAT warhead for its Swingfire, but it is not clear if it is related with British Mk.2 Swingfire, which was reportedly introduced in 1980 featuring better and lighter electronics, improved guidance and depending on source, improved warhead.

Also, Barr & Stroud thermal sights were developed with that upgrade, they were evaluated by the British army in 1982 and apparently orders for 3,500 units were placed in February 1984. I am confident it eventually entered service as SWIG upgrade, experimental in the late 1980s, used that thermal sight as a sensor for ACLOS guidance. SWIG acquires the thermal signature of the outgoing missile and generates control signals to bring to zero the angular displacement between missile and target.


Edited by Nikolas93TS, 28 December 2017 - 2219 PM.

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#17 bojan

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 0608 AM

...Nevertheless, waveshapers (from what I have gathered) were more of 1970s technology but I don't exclude a possibility Swingfire had it from start.

 

1961. introduction 100mm BK-5M had it.


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#18 Nikolas93TS

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 0952 AM

 

...Nevertheless, waveshapers (from what I have gathered) were more of 1970s technology but I don't exclude a possibility Swingfire had it from start.

 

1961. introduction 100mm BK-5M had it.

 

 

So it is not beyond the stretch of the imagination for Swingfire to possibly have shaper too, but we cannot really know for sure until a document or cutout of the warhead pops up. 

 

By the way, is there any updates on Yugoslav ATGM trials from the 1960s? I think it was you who mentioned Vigilant was discarded early, and mentioned 350mm pen (marketed values was something over 500mm)


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#19 bojan

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 1337 PM

Nothing sure, initially Kobra won in the "competition" (not really competition but more like evaluation of different ones) of SS-10, Vigilante and ENTAC. Troop trials found out some problems with Kobra however (it had tendency to dive w/o any input vs climb like any other ATGM) so it was found out that even temporarily loss of control would crash ATGM. in the end Sagger was acquired as it was almost ideal blend of range, size, weight and penetration..


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#20 GARGEAN

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 0838 AM

Nothing sure, initially Kobra won in the "competition" (not really competition but more like evaluation of different ones) of SS-10, Vigilante and ENTAC. Troop trials found out some problems with Kobra however (it had tendency to dive w/o any input vs climb like any other ATGM) so it was found out that even temporarily loss of control would crash ATGM. in the end Sagger was acquired as it was almost ideal blend of range, size, weight and penetration..

Kobra?..
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