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Posted 7/8/2009 Printable Fact Sheet

Mission and Description (Aug. 1, 1957)

The mission of the XSM-73, Long Range Decoy missile is to increase the effectiveness of Strategic Air Command bombers by confusing and saturating the enemy air defense system. The mission shall be accomplished by launching these missiles from ground sites adjacent to Strategic Air Command designated Air Force Bases located on the North American Continent.

The missiles shall have a maximum range of at least 4000 nautical miles with a speed of at least 0.85 Mach at an altitude of 50,000 feet, and shall be capable of carrying a payload of 500 pounds. The performance of the missiles shall simulate the performance of B-47 and B-52 type aircraft over the final 1500 nautical miles of flight. The XSM-73 shall present, by means of multiple corner reflectors or electronic simulating equipment located within the fiberglass structure, radar images like those of the B-47 or B-52 aircraft to radar screens operating in S-band, L-band, and lower frequencies.

Eighty-five percent of those missiles which arrive at the 4000 nautical mile range shall be within a lateral deviation of plus or minus 100 nautical miles of their designated target under no-wind conditions.

The SM-73 Weapon System (WS-123A) shall be capable of launching 50 percent of the operational stock of SM-73 missiles within the first hour after an alert and the remaining missiles within the second hour.

Guidance: Autopilot Stabilization System using low drift rate integrating rate gyro for directional control with provisions for pre-flight programming of turn in either direction.

Aircraft pitch control provided by elevons operating in phase; roll control by asymmetrical elevon operation; yaw damping by rudder.

Control surfaces positioned by hydraulic actuator movement initiated by electrical signal from control system.

Launching: Zero Length Launcher Preparation and Launch Time:
Preflight checkout: Approximately two (2) minutes when maintained in operational readiness with gyros warmed up.
Unattended Storage Time: Electronics - 60 days, Power Plant - 28 days

Type Number built/
XSM-73 - Decoy missile

Armament: None
Engines: One General Electric J85-GE-3 axial flow turbojet of 2,450 lbs. thrust at 16,500 rpm (maximum); normal thrust (continuous) was 2,000 lbs. at 15,540 rpm OR one Fairchild Engine Division J83-R-3 axial flow turbojet of 2,450 lbs. thrust at 16,150 rpm (maximum); normal thrust (continuous) was 2,000 lbs. at 15,470 rpm AND one solid rocket booster of 50,000 lbs. static thrust (nominal) with three-second duration
Maximum fuel capacity: 803 gallons of JP-4 in 10 fuselage and six wing tanks
Maximum speed: 517.4 knots at 50,000 ft. altitude, military power (limited to 0.9 Mach)
Cruise speed: 488.7 knots at 50,000 ft. altitude, cruise power
Minimum speed: 300 knots at 0 ft. altitude, military power (end of boost speed)
Range: 4,773 nautical miles with 500 lb. payload at 500 knots average in 9.53 hours
Operational altitude: 50,000 ft. at 3,701 lbs. at 0.85 M
Span: 24 ft. 5 in.
Sweepback (leading edge): 52°
Wing area: 200 sq. ft.
Length: 33 ft. 6 in.
Height: 7 ft. 1 in.
Weight: 8,945 lbs. estimated launch weight including booster

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