ASROC was 1 of 2 "new" weapon systems installed on FRAM Destroyers.
As seen left, the USS OZBOURN (DD-846) (FRAM 1 Gearing Class) is firing its' ASROC from its' MK-112 ASROC launcher. With many built by the Diamond Match Company, the MK-112 ASROC launcher was referred to as the "Matchbox" ASROC launcher. What follows is a very detailed description and history of ASROC.
Description: ASROC is a three stage, solid fuel rocket comprised of a rocket
motor (MK 12), airframe assembly and a torpedo or depth bomb payload. Length was
fifteen feet, missile diameter twelve inches, overall diameter with stabilizing
fins thirty inches and weight approximately one thousand pounds.
ASROC equipped ships located and tracked submarines with sonar. After target
acquisition, data fed from the sonar to the fire control computer tracked the
submarine course, range and speed and the ASROC was aimed accordingly. Upon
firing the weapon, it flew to a pre determined splash point to deliver the
torpedo or depth bomb payload. The torpedo payload was slowed for water entry by
a parachute device and the torpedo transducer was protected at water entry by a
frangible nose cap.
Early in the 1950’s the Naval Ordnance Test Station
(N.O.T.S.) Pasadena, CA, demonstrated the feasibility of projecting a torpedo
with a rocket motor to provide an ASW standoff capability for surface ships.
This lead to the development of the Rocket Assisted Torpedo (RAT) which utilized
a 5” gun mount barrel and the MK 43 Torpedo for surface ship standoff
delivery. This program was carried
through shipboard evaluation. In the mid 1950s the Naval Ordnance Laboratory at
White Oak, MD conducted a study investigating several methods of delivering
missile payloads beyond the range capability of RAT. Subsequently the Naval
Oceans Systems Center (NOSC) San Diego and
N.O.T.S proposed an alternate system be developed called ASROC, and the
RAT system developed was terminated.
In April of 1956, N.O.T.S. received approval from the Bureau of Ordnance to
initiate the development of ASROC and was assigned the role of Technical
Director of the weapons system as well design agent of the missile including the
adaptation kit, (depth charge less warhead) for the nuclear payload. In August
of 1956 CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) promulgated Development Characteristic
AS07101-1 which defined the requirement for both a nuclear payload and conventional acoustic homing torpedo delivery capability.
The MK 44 Torpedo that was under development at the time was selected as the
interim torpedo payload to be eventually replaced by an improved torpedo.
In April of 1959 the entire system was brought together and installed on the USS NORFOLK (DL-1)installation was complete on a FRAM 1 ship, followed closely by the first of the DDG 2 Class platforms. Installations continued at a rapid rate and the ASROC system population eventually grew to over 200 ships.
In 1961 the adaptation of ASROC to the MK 10 (TEROC) Terrier Guided Missile Launching System was initiated and ASROC with the MK 17 Depth Charge payload obtained acceptance for service use. In 1962 a full scale service test of ASROC with the new MK 17 Depth Charge was successfully conducted and in 1963 the MK 114 Fire Control System, a follow on development to replace the MK 111 Fire Control Group was completed and accepted for service use. The MK 46 Mod 1 Torpedo was added as an ASROC payload in 1966 and by 1967 the evaluation of ASROC with the MK 10 Guided Missile Launching System was completed.
In 1975 the MK 116 Mod 0 Fire Control System and the ASSDROC MK 4 Weapon Handling System was accepted for service use on the DD 963 (SPRUANCE) class destroyers. In 1980 THE MK 116 Mod 1 Fire control System was accepted for service use and integration of ASROC into the MK 26 Guided Missile Launching System was completed. The last installation of ASROC was aboard the TICONDEROGA Class USS THOMAS GATES (CG 51). The ASROC system was phased out of the U.S. Navy in the 1990s in favor of the MK 41 Vertical Launch System and the Vertical ASROC missile.
The Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation wishes to thank the "Old Sailor" for providing us with the above ASROC information and his continued assistance so we could get it right!
Thank you, so very much, Old Sailor!
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Foundation; unauthorized use is PROHIBITED by Federal Law. All Photographs, technical specifications, and
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Historical Foundation, unless otherwise stated. All Rights Reserved
The name "Gyrodyne" in its stylized form above, is the Trademark of and owned by the Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation; unauthorized use is PROHIBITED by Federal Law.
All Photographs, technical specifications, and content are herein copyrighted and owned exclusively by Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation, unless otherwise stated. All Rights Reserved ©1999.