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M39 Army Tactical Missile System (Army TACMS) Components


Guidance and Control Section (GCS). The GCS provides all navigation, guidance, autopilot, and internal communications functions for the Army TACMS missile while in flight and for all ground operations. Continuous determination of position, attitude, and motion are provided by the inertial sensors, associated electronics, and software processing. Guidance and autopilot functions are provided by software processing within the GCS computer. All communications, both internal and external to the missile (missile to launcher and/or ground support equipment), are provided by the GCS electronics and software. This includes communications with the M270 FCS electronics for launch control, the ground support equipment for maintenance, and the control system electronics unit (CSEU) for missile fin actuator control.

Propulsion Section. The solid rocket motor furnishes the energy necessary to launch the missile and sustain missile flight for a sufficient time to meet Army TACMS altitude and range requirements. The solid rocket motor consists of a motor case, propellant, insulation/liner, nozzle, and igniter arm/fire assembly.

Control Section. The primary functions of the control section assembly are to position the missile fins, provide the missile electrical power while in flight, and support selected pyrotechnic functions.

Warhead Assembly. The primary function of the warhead assembly is to carry, protect, and dispense the missile payload. The warhead assembly consists of a rolled aluminum shell with aluminum support structures and front and rear bulkheads. A center tube connects the bulkheads and provides a central wire route. In addition to the payload, the warhead assembly contains a skin severance system which controls the release of the payload at the required time.

The M39 Missile Warhead is used against personnel and soft targets normally with a TLE of 150 m or less. Larger TLEs may reduce effectiveness. Each missile dispenses a cargo of approximately 950 antipersonnel and antimateriel (APAM) M74 grenades over the target area. Warhead event is initiated by an electronic time fuze (M219A2) that is set in the same manner as the M445 electronic time fuze of the M26 rocket. The fuze detonates shaped charges mounted to the skin and bulkheads. This in turn severs the skin. By means of centrifugal force and airstream currents, the M74 grenades are distributed over the target area. Arming of the M74 grenades is accomplished by the spin action which is induced on the individual grenade. The M74 grenade is filled with composition B explosive filler and is covered by a steel shell. Upon impact and detonation each grenade breaks up into a large number of high-velocity steel fragments that are effective against targets such as truck tires, missile rounds, thin-skinned vehicles, and radar antennas. This submunition is not effective against armored vehicles. The M74 grenade also contains incendiary material and has an antipersonnel radius of 15 m.



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