Missile systems in the military industry are unmanned rockets for carrying a payload to a designated point by understanding its target, trajectory, velocity, warhead, range, and launching platform. The speed and accuracy of this rocket-propelled weapon can’t be compromised, because when the missiles indicate any undesired operation the results will be unpredictable. Reliability, safety and compatibility are the other preferred requirements for a missile launching system. The missile launching systems are an unavoidable example of hydraulics in the military industry. Like everyone is aware of, this is just one among the applications and there are hundreds of other hydraulic tools and machinery utilized. This article focus on where hydraulics is implemented in missile launching system and how it work and maintained.
Why hydraulics is preferred for a missile launching system? The answer is simple. I.e; its ability to withstand heavy loads and smooth operation. The safety, accuracy, and controllability delivered are other benefits of hydraulics. As mentioned always, the drawback of hydraulics in every system is the need for regular inspection and maintenance. It is important to regularly inspect the hydraulic systems for leakages, fluid level, fluid pressure, accumulator charge and more. Also, preventing contamination will also help improve system performance and service life.
Where is hydraulics implemented in the missile launching system? The missile system requires hydraulic power for loading or unloading missiles to the launcher guide arm from the magazine stowage area, transporting between ships or shore, positioning missile launchers, and controlling missile flight attitude.
Handling equipment are common in almost every industry and in missile launching system, different types of equipment are used for loading, unloading, strikedown, and strikeup. These hydraulically operated equipment are trucks, transfer dollies, service cranes, hydraulic booms and ship's elevators. The hydraulic shock absorbers and hydraulic/hydraulic-mechanical brakes in transfer dollies will protect the missile from accidental impact while transferring.
The feeder system in the missile launching system also utilizes hydraulic power for operation. The feeder system contains magazine (place within which ammunition or explosive stored), loader (rammer), assembler, and strikedown equipment. The feeder system will supply hydraulic power to the loader positioner, retractable rails, floating rails on tracks, spanning rails, and blast doors.
The magazine accumulator power system requires hydraulic fluid for operating ready service drive motor, magazine hoist, magazine doors, tray-shift mechanism. The major components in this accumulator power supply system are four accumulators, control valve block, electric motor, piston pump, header tank and supply tank. The hydraulic fluid is stored in the supply tank and this fluid is pressurized with a pump and transferred through piping and valves. The magazine doors are opened upwards hydraulically and then it is locked open or close using hydraulically operated latches. The tray-shift mechanism utilizes hydraulic power for transferring missiles from the hoist to the ready service ring or reverse. The magazine hoist will raise missiles from the ready service ring to the loader.
Guide arms, hydraulic breaks, train & elevation latches, reduction gear assembly, positioning valves and buffers are other hydraulically operated launcher components.