Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles|
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
|Copyright © 2005 Andreas Parsch|
In 1945, the original Bazooka shoulder-launched anti-tank rocket was no longer an effective weapon aginst then modern armour. Therefore a much more powerful rocket and launcher of 8.9 cm (3.5 in) caliber was developed. However, the resulting M20 launcher and M28 rocket were not fielded in significant numbers to the troops until the start of the Korean War in 1950. The system was officially known as the 3.5-Inch High-Explosive Anti-Tank Rocket, but was frequently called the "Super Bazooka".
The 3.5-Inch Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher M20A1 consisted of two tubes, which had to be screwed together before loading and firing a rocket. The assembled launch tube had a length of 1.52 m (60 in) and weighed 6.4 kg (14 lb). The M20A1B1 was a variant with detail differences on the tube halves, and a slightly lower weight of 5.9 kg (13 lb). The weapon for the M20 launcher was the High-Explosive Anti-Tank Rocket M28, with the operational version being designated M28A2. The general principle of operation of the "Super Bazooka" was the same as for the older M9A1 Bazooka. The M28A2 had a maximum range of about 820 m (900 yds), but effective range against a stationary target was more around 275 m (300 yds).
|Photo: via Ordway/Wakeford|
|3.5-Inch Anti-Tank Rocket and launcher|
For training, the M20 launcher could fire the 3.5-Inch Practice Rocket M29A2, which had an inert hollow warhead, but was otherwise identical to the M28A2. The 3.5-Inch WP (White Phosphorus) Smoke Rocket M30 replaced the HEAT warhead with a smoke-generating head, and was used to produce smoke for screening or signalling purposes.
The 3.5-Inch "Super Bazooka" launcher and rockets were phased out by the U.S. Army in the early 1960s, and replaced by the M72 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon) disposable rocket launcher.
Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!
Data for M28A2 rocket:
|Length||59.8 cm (23.55 in)|
|Diameter||8.9 cm (3.5 in)|
|Weight||4.1 kg (9.0 lb)|
|Speed||100 m/s (330 fps)|
|Range||275 m (300 yds)|
|Warhead||0.86 kg (1.9 lb) high-explosive shaped-charge|
 Frederick I. Ordway III, Ronald C. Wakeford: "International Missile and Spacecraft Guide", McGraw-Hill, 1960
 Gary W. Cooke: Gary's U.S. Infantry Weapons Reference Guide
Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4