The Mauler self-propelled guided missile system
The complete Hawk system included a battery control center with two radar units as well as trailer mounted triple launchers for the missiles. The small tracked M501 (XM501E2) loader-transporter was used to move the missiles from the preparation site to the launcher. Later, the guided missile launcher M754 was installed on the M727 carrier vehicle using the power train and suspension from the M548 cargo carrier. This unarmored vehicle had a lock-up system on the suspension to provide stability when loading and firing the missiles.
An upper steel blast deflector protected the cab top and the power plant compartment during firing. The lower steel blast deflector was hinged to and folded against the upper deflector when in the travel position. When launching, the lower blast deflector was lowered onto the hull brackets.
An aluminum alloy blast cover protected the windshield during launching operations and it was stowed on top of the cab for travel. The driver's seat was at the extreme left of the cab with space for three additional passengers. The vehicle was not amphibious, but all hull openings including the full tailgate were provided with watertight seals allowing the vehicle to ford water 42 inches deep.
Phase three of the U.S Army is low altitude, lightweight, antiaircraft weapon program began in March 1960. This was the development of the Mauler self-propelled guided missile system. It was intended to provide a complete system on a single vehicle that could maneuver with the armored units and be operated by one man. The Mauler was expected to deliver a solid propellant missile with a blast fragmentation warhead out to a slant range of 5,000 meters and up to an altitude of 10,000 feet. It was to defend the field army against low altitude, high speed, aircraft and missiles. The missile system it self was under development by the Convair Division of General Dynamics and the XM546 carrier, built by FMC, was based upon the M113 armored personnel carrier.
The configuration of the Mauler system varied during the development program. Early proposal sketches show a 12 missile launcher with two rows of six and a different radar system. By late 1963, the first engineering model was under test and it was fitted with nine missiles in three rows of three each. The radar configuration was modified, now consisting of a flat rectangular acquisition antenna on an A-frame support structure. The track-illuminator radar used two parabolic antennas.
These were a 20 inch diameter transmitter antenna and a 15 inch diameter receiver antenna on the right and left sides of the launching rack respectively. An infrared scanner could be used along with the radar or independently to avoid detection by enemy counter-measures. The track evaluation computer had the capacity to handle 15 target tracks at the same time. The system was designed to operate automatically, but the firing sequence could be interrupted or modified by the one man crew.
Originally, the solid rocket Mauler missile system was 5 1/2 inches in diameter, 77 inches long, and weighed about 120 pounds. Later versions increased in length to about 81 inches.
The XM546 carrier was a lengthened version of the M113 armored personnel carrier with slightly thinner aluminum alloy armor. The original concept called for a stretched vehicle with six road wheels per side. However, this version was dropped at an early stage and the XM546 was fitted with the usual five road wheels per side, but they were spaced out to give a ground contact length of 111 inches.
The driver and the power train were in their usual location, but the top of the cargo compartment was open and extended to the rear. The ramp in the sloped rear wall did not have a personnel door. The open cargo compartment was fitted for the installation of the Mauler weapon pod. Development of the Mauler continued into the late 1960s, but other, less complicated, systems were becoming available and it did not go into production.
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