The MK-20 Rockeye is a free-fall, unguided cluster weapon designed to kill tanks and armored vehicles. The system consists of a clamshell dispenser, a mechanical MK-339 timed fuze, and 247 dual-purpose armor-piercing shaped-charge bomblets. The bomblet weighs 1.32 pounds and has a 0.4-pound shaped-charge warhead of high explosives, which produces up to 250,000 psi at the point of impact, allowing penetration of approximately 7.5 inches of armor. Rockeye is most efficiently used against area targets requiring penetration to kill. Fielded in 1968, the Rockeye dispenser is also used in the Gator air-delivered mine system. The bomblets free fall over a 3,300 square yard area and detonate on impact. The shaped warhead charge in the bomblet is good against armor and soft skinned targets.
During Desert Storm US Marines used the weapon extensively, dropping 15,828 of the 27,987 total Rockeyes against armor, artillery, and antipersonnel targets. The remainder were dropped by Air Force (5,345) and Navy (6,814) aircraft.
The Mk 427 Mod 0 and Mod 1 shipping and storage containers encase one fully assembled Mk 20 bomb cluster. The reusable containers consist of metal upper and lower shell assemblies that are secured with either 16 quick-release latches (Mod 0) or 18 "T" latches (Mod 1). A rubber gasket provides an environmental seal when the upper and lower shells are mated. External frame members are welded to each half of the container so the containers can be stacked six high and provide the necessary fittings for ground-handling equipment.
The reusable weapon cradle Mk 18 Mod 0 is used to ship and store two fully assembled Mk 20 bomb clusters. The cradle consists of plastic upper and lower shell assemblies, which are shock-mounted on a metal cradle assembly. The weapon cradle has forklift guides, lifting eyes, handtruck brackets, and lift devices to permit the use of handling equipment. Four supports are provided on each cradle to aid in stacking the cradle.
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