August 18, 2023

Open Thread 137

It's time for our regular open thread. Talk about whatever you want so long as it isn't culture war.

I will again remind people that Naval Gazing has a discord, and that we do things besides naval stuff there. General is often active with random stuff, and we have a dedicated Bulbasaur channel if anyone wants to talk about Pokemon.

Overhauls for 2022 are Speed and Range in Battleships and Southern Commerce Raiding Part 7.


  1. August 22, 2023Fred said...

    I’m curious about the attachment of missiles to ships or planes. Is there one universal connector? Is there one universal data plug? Ignoring data plugs, could you attach a wwii bomb to a modern plane, or a 1960s missile to a modern ship?

  2. August 22, 2023bean said...

    I can't speak much to ships, beyond pointing out that VLS has come close to becoming a universal connector/adaptor system, but I am much more familiar with planes (although this is all from memory, so there may be mistakes). The short version is that almost all US weapons have a standard set of connections. Physically, the weapon has two lugs 14" apart, which are held up by hooks from the standard MAU-12 ejector rack. To keep the weapon from moving, the MAU-12 also has four sway braces (pads on the end of screws) which push down and keep the weapon from moving under the wing. When it comes time to release, a pyrotechnic charge retracts the hooks and fires a piston that pushes the weapon away from the aircraft.

    Data connections are also standard. There's a common plug interface and a common logical standard for almost all weapons since 1990 or so in the form of MIL-STD-1760, a derivative of the MIL-STD-1553 data bus. The latest version of 1760 also includes fiber capability, but that's not very common yet, and I don't know what the physical interface is. I think the plug may predate 1760, but am not sure.

    The MAU-12/ejector system seems to date back to the 50s or so. I'm not sure exactly what they did before that, but I think it was a single lug system. At a guess, the shift to high-speed external carriage was the driver here. I don't think bomb racks generally use ejectors.

  3. August 23, 2023muddywaters said...

    @Fred: there are pictures here.

    On earlier systems: OP 1664 says two-14"-apart was the USN and USAAF standard for at least much of WW2 (and possibly sooner), while the British used a single lug system, and standard bombs then had both fittings. And yes, both of these types then passively dropped the weapon, not actively ejected it. There was no data link beyond the option to drop with or without arming (and on racks that were also used for smoke screen generators, a smoke on/off switch); weapons that had depth/time-after-drop/etc fuze settings generally had to be set manually before takeoff.

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