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The SSM-A-23 Dart was a wire-guided anti-tank missile. In 1951 the Army issued a requirement for an anti-tank missile and the Dart was one of the proposals submitted. A contract was awarded in 1953 to develop the Dart into an effective weapons system and within a year a prototype Dart was first launched.

The Dart was intended to be fired from vehicles (trucks, helicopters, etc) and relied on its operator to guide it to its target. After launch the missile lit off a bright flare on its tail that the operator could see visibly. As the missile moved towards the target the operator would send commands via the wire correcting the Dart's flight path. Testing indicated that it was far from easy for an operator to help the Dart reach its target so an infared terminal homing device was added. When Dart was close enough it could home directly in to its target thus hopefully making it easier to achieve a good hit for the operator.

Unfortunately the system was very complicated, took longer to develop and was much more expensive than its initial proposal. Unable to field the Dart within the time period and for the cost the Army felt was reasonable development of the Dart project was cancelled.

While never successfully fielded as an active service weapon system the Dart did try out concepts, such as wire guidance, that proved effective for later missile systems.

Developed By: U.S. Army
Length: 5 feet
Diameter: 7 inches
Weight: 100 pounds
Range: 10000 feet
Propellant: Solid
First Firing: 1954
DUI: USAMMCS

Distinctive Unit Insignia of the U.S. Army Missile and Munitions Center and School which tested the Dart

Photos: Dart
 
This page was last updated on 4/8/2010 12:31 PM 
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