Published May 29, 2015
DAYTON, Ohio - The BGM-109G GLCM on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
GLCM emerging from the Transporter-Erector Launcher (TEL) during a test firing. (U.S. AIr Force photo).
The Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) was a mobile, ground-to-ground cruise missile developed to provide North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) theater commanders with a low-cost, reliable, accurate tactical nuclear missile. Its sophisticated guidance system allowed it to penetrate enemy territory at low altitudes and high subsonic speeds.
The first operational GLCMs were deployed to Europe beginning in 1983. They were stationed in England, Belgium, Germany and Italy. Their deployment was controversial, but it helped bring about the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union, thus marking the first nuclear forces reduction in history.
All of the US Air Force GLCMs were subject to elimination under the treaty with the exception of eight retained for static display. These GLCMs became part of the Museum's collection and, except for this example, were placed on loan to other museums in the United States and Europe to mark the beginning of nuclear arms reduction.
The GLCM on display (S/N 097) was at RAF Greenham Common in England. As the first of the approved static display missiles released from service, it underwent demilitarization in compliance with the INF Treaty. The BGM-109G Gryphon is almost identical to the BGM-109 Tomahawk non-nuclear sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM) used by the US Navy in OPERATION DESERT STORM.
Engine: One Williams F-107-WR-440 turbofan of 600 lbs thrust
Booster: Atlantic Research solid fuel rocket motor of 7,000 lbs thrust
Speed: Approximately 500 mph
Range: Approximately 1,500 miles
Click here to return to the Cold War Gallery.
Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.
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The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)