Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
4.5-Inch Barrage Rockets
Copyright © 2006 Andreas Parsch

U.S. Army 4.5-Inch Barrage & Bombardment Rockets

Fin-Stabilized 4.5-Inch Rockets (M8, M9, M12)

The 4.5-Inch Rocket M8 was a fin-stabilized aircraft rocket, the first of this kind developed and used by the Army Air Forces. It was also used as a barrage rocket with ground-based launchers, the 8-tube "Xylophone" and 60-tube "Calliope". But since fin-stabilization is not very effective for low-speed ground-launched rockets, it was replaced later in the war by spin-stabilized rockets of the M16 family (q.v. below).

The M9 was similar to the M8, but no further details are available. The M12 was a larger development of the M8, which had collapsible fins and could be fired from a tripod launcher.

Spin-Stabilized 4.5-Inch Rockets (M16, M17, M20, M21)

The M16 was the first of the Army's spin-stabilized 4.5-inch rockets. It was fired from 24-tube "Honeycomb" and 60-tube "Hornet's Nest" launchers. The M17, M20 and M21 rockets were similar to the M16, but further details are not available. M16 rockets were used by the Army at least until the Korean war.

Image: via ORDATA Website


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for 4.5-Inch Rockets M8, M16, M20:

Length91 cm (36 in)78.7 cm (31 in)
Diameter11.4 cm (4.5 in)
Weight17 kg (38 lb)19.3 kg (42.5 lb)18.4 kg (40.5 lb)
Range3660 m (4000 yds)> 5 km (3 miles)
PropulsionSolid-propellant rocket
WarheadHigh Explosive

Main Sources

[1] Norman J. Bowman: "The Handbook of Rockets and Guided Missiles", Perastadion Press, 1963
[2] Frederick I. Ordway III, Ronald C. Wakeford: "International Missile and Spacecraft Guide", McGraw-Hill, 1960
[3] ORDATA Online Website

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4

Last Updated: 1 February 2006