|Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles|
|Copyright © 2002-2003 Andreas Parsch|
In 1975, the U.S. Air Force initiated the WAAM (Wide-Area Anti-Armour Munitions) program to develop a family of new anti-armour air-to-ground weapons for use by close-support aircraft. The WAAM program led to the development of the CBU-90/B ACM (Anti-Armour Cluster Munition), the CBU-92/B ERAM (Extended Range Anti-Armour Munition), and the Wasp small anti-armour missile. The Wasp was the most advanced of the WAAM weapons, and development began in 1979 when contracts were awarded to Boeing and Hughes. Wasp was to be a small missile, to be carried in substantial numbers by the attack aircraft in cluster munition dispensers. The Boeing design was apparently not successful, and the USAF assigned the designation AGM-124A to the Hughes Wasp missile.
The AGM-124A was a compact missile with folding wings and fins for dense stowage in a multi-missile launch pod. It was intended to launch multiple (10 or more) Wasps simultaneously from a stand-off distance towards the general area where enemy armour had been detected. The swarm of missiles (hence the name Wasp) would follow a pre-programmed flight path to the target area, where each individual missile would use millimeter-wave radar or infrared terminal guidance to identify and home on a specific target.
|Photo: Hughes||Photo: via Scott Ferrin|
Hughes began tests of its millimeter-wave radar seeker in 1981, and the first flight test of an AGM-124A prototype occurred in early 1983. It was originally planned to start production of the AGM-124A in 1987, but in October 1983 the Wasp program was terminated. The other components of the WAAM program were also not entirely successful, with the exception of the CBU-92/B's Skeet projectile, which is used in the BLU-108/B submunition of today's CBU-97/B and CBU-105/B SFW (Sensor Fuzed Weapon) cluster bombs.
|Photo: via Scott Ferrin|
|AGM-124A and launch pod|
Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!
Data for AGM-124A:
|Length||1.52 m (5 ft)|
|Wingspan||51 cm (20 in)|
|Diameter||20 cm (8 in)|
|Weight||57 kg (125 lb)|
|Range||10 km (6.2 miles)|
|Propulsion||Solid-fueled rocket motor|
 Ronald T. Pretty (ed.): "Jane's Weapon Systems 1982-83", Jane's, 1983
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