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Lazy Dog was a free-fall missile employing a 50 caliber bullet or its core as the basic aerodynamic body. The Lazy Dog Bomb which were designed to be dropped from a plane on targets below. The fins would stabilize the bomb so the point would travel through the air first to reduce drag and increase velocity until it reached a terminal velocity of up to 500 MPH. Each steel micromissile weighs about 0.05 pounds and contains no explosive charge or fuze.

Besides being called "Lazy Dog Bombs", these are also sometimes called Red Dot Bombs and Yellow Dog Bombs, cluster bombs or bomblets. Sometimes these are incorrectly called fletchettes... this is NOT a fletchette, which is a nail with the fins stamped out from the head of the nail.

The 'Lazy Dog' anti-personnel projectile was dropped by the United States Air Force during the war in Vietnam (1962-1975). The flechette was delivered via a Mk 44 Cluster Bomb (which held at least 10,000 projectiles). The Mk 44 opened in mid-air after release, so that the projectiles (or 'aerial darts') were then dispersed over the target where they inflicted damage by penetration of soft targets. Depending on how many projectiles could be packed in, loaded weight varied between 560 and 625 pounds, with the theoretical maximum number of projectiles listed as 17,500.

THe USAF Armament Laboratory program was coded LAZY DOG involved Delco Products Corporation, F&F Mold and Die Works, Inc., Haines Designed Products, and Master Vibrator Company of Dayton. The project objective was to design and test free-fall missiles and their dispensing units for use in bombers and fighters. LAZY DOG anti-personnel missiles were designed to spray enemy troops with small projectiles with three times the force of standard air-burst bombs. The Armament Laboratory in conjunction with the Flight Test Laboratory conducted wind tunnel tests of a number of bomb shapes, which design studies indicated to be the most efficient for stowage and release from high performance aircraft.

The steel core of the 50 caliber bullet could be utilized as the basic missile body. An afterbody with stabilizing fins is added to form a low drag fin stabilized weapon. The fins provide the stabilization which is normally realized by spin in the conventional applicatioa of the bullet. LAZY DOG projectiles of various shapes and sizes were tested at Air Proving Ground, Eglin AFB, Florida, in late 1951 and early 1952. An F-84, flying at 400 knots and 75 feet above the ground, served as the test bed while a jeep and a B-24 were the targets. The result was eight hits per square yard. Tests revealed Shapes 2 and 5 to be the most effective. Shape 5, an improved basic LAZY DOG slug, had the force of a .50 caliber bullet and could penetrate 24 inches of packed sand. Shape 2 could penetrate 12 inches of sand, as opposed to the six-inch penetration of a .45 caliber slug fired point blank.

The Shape 2 projectile was sent to FEAF for combat use by mid-1952. FEAF immediately ordered 16,000 of the 500-pound bombs. Lieutenant Colonel Haile with the Armament Laboratory spent 90 days in Japan to set up local manufacture of the bombs and to train crewmembers in their use. Project LAZY DOG continued throughout 1952 to determine the optimum characteristics for stable dispersion containers and the feasibility of substituting a LAZY DOG warhead for the explosive nose of the Matador. The LAZY DOG program was still ongoing in the late 1950s.

Various shapes of lazy dog missiles that were flight tested during 1965 by the Air Force Armament Center, Air Research and Development Command, Eglin AFB, Florida. Conclusions reached in this test were that the shape 5 missile was better than the shape 2b missile in stabililty, penetration, and handling characteristics, and that the shape 5 was recommended for standardization.

Investigations were conducted in the Naval Ordnance Laboratory's Supersonic Tunnel No. 1 on several of the Navy's Lazy Dog weapon configurations. Static stability tests were conducted on six configurations over a Mach number range from 0.3 to 1.3. Dynamic stability tests were made using the more promising configurations. In addition to these tests, ballistics range firings were conducted.

Each lazy dog is capable of attaining a terminal velocity of approximately 700 feet per second which equates to a lethal penetrating power somewhere between a 45 calibre slug and a 30 calibre carbine. This weapon system is extremely simple, with negligible storage problems and contains no electronic complexities or dangerous explosives.

These were developed in WWII but did not have a chance to be deployed before the end of the war. They were first deployed in Vietnam, but there was great controversy about their use and wether they voilated the Geneva Convention because they were so silent and deadly and demoralizing to troops.

It would simply develop an incredible amount of kinetic energy as it fell to earth and would penetrate nearly any material when they hit the ground, and would actually vaporize some targets because so much energy was being dissapated! These would supposedly contain more energy upon impact than a 50 caliber shot! In the Viet Nam war, they were dropped by the bucketload from UH-1 Huey helicopters over the jungles, and dropped by the crateload from bombers with devastating results to targets in the jungles below.

Lazy Dog Lazy Dog

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Page last modified: 03-12-2019 16:17:09 ZULU