|Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles|
|Copyright © 2002 Andreas Parsch|
In the early 1980s the Naval Weapons Center (NWC) developed an extremely simple and cheap surface-to-air missile (SAM) simulation rocket. It was to provide a realistic visual SAM threat in air warfare exercises by actually launching a rocket without endangering the "attacked" aircraft. The rocket was designated GTR-18A, and because it trails a highly visible thick white cloud of smoke when fired to simulate a SAM, it was called "Smokey Sam".
|Photo: via Glenn Campbell|
The GTR-18A rocket is a very simple rocket with a fuselage made of phenolic paper and styrofoam fins. Because of its very light construction, the Smokey Sam won't do serious harm even if it accidentally hits a low-flying aircraft. It can be launched from unprepared ground by using single-bay or four-bay launchers (designated LMU-23/E and LMU-24/E, respectively). The complete Smokey Sam Simulator (SSS) system, which also includes a vehicle-mounted AN/VPQ-1 tracking radar, is designated SMU-124/E. In the early 1990s the Smokey Sam rocket was redesignated as DGTR-18A, although the use of the D ("Dummy") prefix is usually limited to non-flying rockets/missiles used for ground handling training only. The DGTR-18A is still being built and used in large numbers.
|Photo: SSgt Hoekstra, USAF|
|GTR-18A launch (with AN/VPQ-1)|
Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!
Data for GTR-18A:
|Length||38 cm (15 in)|
|Finspan||15 cm (6 in)|
|Diameter||5 cm (2 in)|
|Ceiling||550 m (1800 ft)|
 "DOD 4120.15-L: Model Designation of Military Aerospace Vehicles", Department of Defense, 1998
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