The Pershing Is 1-A

Lt. Col. Edwin A. Rudd

T

HE United States Army's mightiest weapon, the Pershing missi le,
has come of age. lt now is moving into second-generation ground-support equipment for transporting and
launching the 2-stage, surface-to-surface
nuclear artiJlery round.
When the improved Pershing 1-A
missile system first takes to the field in
the not-too-d istant future, it will be one
of the most thoroughly proved, most
cost-effective assemblies of hardware
to be fo und in any major system. Weil
might it be, as a result of the extensive
- and exhaustive- testing conducted
on the new ground-support equipment
over the past 2 years. And the equipment will have reached the hands of
troops through a unique, perhaps even
revolutionary pipeline.
Managed by the U. S. Army Missile
Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.,
the new version of the system combines
much of the orig inal one with the invaluable know-how born only of experience. The result: a more reliable,
durable, highly mobile, fast-reacting
weapon, th rough improved equipment
-with a significant economy effected
through retention of the dependable 35foot missile already in the inventory.
The most obvious difference between
the Pershing now deployed in Europe
and the second-generation Pershing 1-A
to replace it is a switch from tracks to
wheels. Less obvious, but at least
equally significant, are an automatic
countdown facility, computer devices,
and a capability for automatic self-test
and malfunction isolation, all contained
in th!! newer version. There are other
adva nces, too.

THE original missile-now called
Pershing 1-was conceived to replace Redstone by an Army-industry
team in late 1957. The first contract for
design studies was issued by the A rmy
Fig. 1. Pershing 1-A firing at White Sands
Missile Range, N. Mex. (A rmy photo ) .

to the Orlando Di vision of Martin
Marietta Corporation in March 1958.
A scant 22 months later, in Janua ry
1960, the first Pershing launch was
carried out by the prime contractor at
Cape Kennedy, starting one of the most
successful strings of major system firings experienced at the Cape to date.
From February 1960 to April 1963,
Pershing missiles streaked through the
skies over the Atlantic with great success.
Meanwhile, in June 1962 at Fort
Sill, Okla., the 2nd Battalion, 44th
Artillery, was activated. The 2/ 44th
was the first of fi ve U. S. Army Pershing units now equipped with the supersonic, solid-fuel weapon.

road marches, countdowns, and firings
under far more grueling conditions
than ever were faced at the Cape.
Despite the harsh simulated-combat
environment, A rmy artillerymen have
set an enviable firing record, with
launchings from as fa r away as Green
River, Utah, and across the four-corne rs
area of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and
New Mexico-to impact on target at

Ü THER

artillery battalions subsequently activated as Pershing units
include the 4/41st, 1/81st and 3/84 th
- all now on station in Europe wirh
the 56th Artillery Group-and the 2/
79th, located at Fort Sill with the
2/44th.
In August 1963, Pershing was handed
over to the 2/ 44th for Army troop
firings into White Sands Missile Range,
N. Mex., and became the first tactical
ballistic missile to be fired over populated U. S. territory. Operating from
rugged mounta in a nd desert country,
Pershing has since wirhstood rigorous

~-·-1

••

Weapons Technology

This second-generation missile syste1n, now mounted on wheels rather
than tracks, has an automatic countdown facility, comjJuter devices,
and a capability for testing itself and isolating any malfunctions
White Sands, some 400 miles distant.
Pershing units initially were assigned
to Europe in 1964. Currently, the three
battalions deployed there represent the
most powerful Army units ever organized. In preselected positions, they are
poised across the Continent, standing
ready to deliver a nuclear knockout
blow against vital enemy targetsshould such devastating action ever become necessary.
J N its Quick Reaction Alert (QRA)
mission, Pershing takes its place
alongside the Navy's Polaris and the
Air Force's Minuteman and Titan systems as a deterrent against aggression.
Also operational with the Pershing
system are "gruppes"-groups-of the
Federal Republic of Germany Air
Force. A g ruppe is roughly equivalent
to an American battalion.
Currently, Pershing 1 batteries are
mounted on M474 tracked vehicles.
Each firing battery has four primary
elements. Heading the line of march
is the warhead vehicle, which also
carries the azimuth-laying gear. Second
is the erector-launcher which cradles
the main section of the missile and
serves as the launch pad. The third of
the tracked carriers houses the programmer-test station, as weil as the
power station for the system. The last
vehicle is the radio terminal station.
Under the new concept, Pershing
1-A will replace the M474 tracked vehicle with a prime mover developed by
Ford Motor Company, the 5-ton M656.
The new 8-wheeled drive (8 X 8)
transporter has four steerable front
wheels and permits rapid movement
over improved roads without serious
loss of cross-country maneuverability.
When operational, the wheeled carriers will add speed and mobility to
Pershing battalions, improving their
present ability to move rapidly in and
out of preselected firing sites. Other
advantages lie in original dollar savings
in procurement of wheeled vehicles
rather than the more costly tracks, and
in a reduction in maintenance costs-

180

inherently high in any tracked carrier.
The softer ride on rubber tires cuts
vibration of equipment and further
contributes to reduced maintenance requirements and costs. With a smoother
ride comes increased reliability in the
missile itself and in its supporting
equipment.
In the new line of march, the Pershing 1-A battery will have several missiles, each on its own improved erector-launcher and carrying a warhead
section. The two sections can be mated
quickly by use of a hydraulic davit
built into the erector-launcher.
Also built in are hydraulic-pneumatic lifts which raise the missile from
the horizontal traveling cradle to the
vertical firing position in a matter of
seconds-cutting erection time to less
than half tl1at required by current
equipment. The erector-launcher is
transportable in C-130 aircraft.
An improved programmer-test station mounted on the M656 cargo truck
provides the means for rapid missile
check-out and countdown. lt is equipped
with computer control devices and is
capable of automatic self-test and malfunction isolation.
electronic packaging feaM ODERN
turing replaceable plug-in micromodu les allows the operator to perform
fault isolation right at the firing site.
Mounted on the same truck is the
power station which provides energy
for the entire system. This vehicle is,
in effect, a portable blockhouse.
A new but integral part of the march
order of a Pershing 1-A firing unit
will be a battery control central (BCC).
Mounted in an "expando-van," the
BCC is designed to provide the battery
commander with a sheltered command
post from which he can monitor and

Colonel Rudd is Pershing
Pro;ect Manager for the U. S.
A,-my Missile Command. He
is stationed at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsvil/e, Ala.

direct firing-site activities. The BCC
will be linked by radio to higher headquarters for positive command and
control.
The fourth M656 in the line-up will
carry the radio-terminal set, which
provides either line-of-sight or tropospheric-scatter voice and teletype networks for me battery. This mobile
communications center is topped by an
inßatable parabolic antenna which can
be stowed in a rccessed space during
road tra vel.

W

ITH improved, faster, more reliable ground su pport, Pershing
becomes better equipped for its quickreaction-alert (QRA) role. In the QRA
posture, the Pershing 1-A firing battery
-wim its fully assembled missiles and
improved programmer-test stationscan fire any combination of consecutive
rounds, or a formidable salvo of missiles. With four such batteries in each
U. S. battalion, the massive, overwhelming firepower of a Pershing battalion is readily apparent.
Each Pershing battalion is organized
as a self-sustaining tactical and administrative unit, composed of a headquarters battery and a service battery
to support the four missile-firing batteries. Each firing battery, in turn, has
included in it the necessary administrative and mess personnel-thus providing for sustained field operations independent of battalion headquarters.
In its current QRA role, each Pershing I firing battery consists of 5 officers, 1 warrant oflicer, and 149 enlisted
men. The battery strength of a Pershing 1-A unit currently is a matter of
extensive study.
However, it is apparent that with
the Pershing 1-A, there can be a better
than 400 per cent increase in missiledelivery capability with only a slightly
!arger number of battery personnel
than with the Pershing 1. The over-all
result is a significant step toward greater cost effectiveness in the missile
business.
To ensure the kind of dependability

ORDNANCE

expected of the Pershing 1-A system,
a series of extensive tests has been conducted under every imaginable condition. Thousands of miles of backwoods
roads, trails, hills, bumps, and mudholes have been traversed by the equipme"nt, including the erector-launcher
and the missile.
each major segment
FOLLOWING
of a test, the equipment was run
into a field site and placed under
simulated countdown and launch conditions. Despite rugged treatment and
brutal pounding, the equipment responded remarkably weil; it showed
every promise of withstanding all types
of conditions anywhere in the world.
Further to prove its durability, the
Pershing r-A equipment was taken to
Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., for 12
weeks of testing in the Climatic Laboratory at the Air Proving Ground. There
it was subjected to rain, sleet, ice, and
snow at temperatures ranging from
above 150 degrees Fahrenheit to more
than 55 degrees below zero. Weather
changes were altered rapidly in an
effort to induce temperature shock.
Again, the erector-launcher with its
missile was put through its paces at
scheduled periods and at all temperatures. And again, the simulated count·
down and launch procedures were successfu!.
In March of this year, the first actual
launch of a missile from Pershing r-A
ground-support equipment was conducted at White Sands Missile Range,
N. Mex., where three successful firings
were accomplished by Martin Marietta
engineers. In July, the first troop firings
were conducted by elements of the
2/44th Artillery, launching from Gilson Butte, Utah, onto White Sands
Missile Range.
planning is under
M EANWHILE,
way to satisfy the overriding requirement of retaining combat efficiency in a major missile unit while it
is being reequipped. The trick, of
course, is in switching from Pershing r
to Pershing 1-A ground-support equipment, while at the same time assuring
100 per cent target coverage. This is
especially critical for the 56th Artillery
Group wh ich supports NATO forces
in Europe.
To meet this challenge, a new and
novel concept has been developed by
the Army Missile Command : all Per-

F ig. 2. Pershing l·A's battery control centr al (BCC), mounted in an ex~a~·
do-van on an M656 truck, gives the bottery commander ~n exc~llent fi rm„i
site post and a radio link with higher headquorters (Martrn-Manetta photo),

shing ground-support equipmcnt, including several hundred vehicles as weil
as the sophisticated electronics and
computer gear needed to fire a missile,
will be swapped-with no reduction in
combat readiness for the user unit. The
name for this king-sized logistics concept came easily-Project SWAP.
Under Project SW AP, all components of the Pershing r-A system will
be marshaled at Cape Kennedy, Fla.,
from which point they will be delivered
to user units as an operational packagc.
During a transitional period, both
Pershing I and Pershing 1-A systems
will be in the field. Then target responsibility will be transferred to Pershing
r-A, and excess Pershing I equipmcnt
will be withdrawn for disposition.

This is a broad-brush explanation of
the SW AP concept-but it is much
more complex and involved than that.

eo

"SIDERATION of any plans for
Pershing conversion had to take
into account the needs of many Army
agencies and commands. lt became
obvious to the planners that success
would require some form of centralized control to guarantee proper coordination and to pinpoint responsibility for final problem-solving. This
over-all control eventually was vested in
the Pershing Program Manager at the
Army Missile Command.
The first step in the SWAP program
was to establish phases to coincide
with over-all Army requirements and

Fig. 3. Mounted on rubber tires instead of tracked vehicles, the new Pershing 1-A
system mounts the complete missile-cra~ led on a new, fa.st-erec~ed launcher
-on one carrier, pulled by an M757 pnme mover (Martm-Manetta photo).

Technology

P ershing missile nnd equipment being tested at 55 degr ees below zer o in C limntic Laboratory, Eglin A FB, Fla.

with the Pershing r-A production
schedule at Martin Marietta. These
evolved into four major areas: (r)
planning, (2) marshaling, (3) exchange, and (4) disposition.
than a year and a half of
M ORE
planning already has been devoted to SWAP. In addition to the
Missile Command, every other command or agency with a n interest in
Pershing has had to develop maintenance and conversion concepts or programs to cover the items they manage
and to make provision for their own
participation at various stages of the
chan geover.
T he master plan had to be broad
enough to encompass detailed procedures covering every aspect of P roject
SWAP from the very beginning to
final disposition of Pershing r items.
And it had to be flexible enough to

ensure that changes in material or
policy could be accomplished in an
orderly way.
Marshaling of materials within a
!arge hangar and hardstand arca at
Cape Kennedy started early this summer. There the SW AP team-made up
of m ilitary and civilian representatives
of the Missile Command and Martin
Marietta techn icians under contract to
the Cornmand, has but one intercstPershing!
T he team's primary responsibility is
the preparation of "packages" for each
training or tactical activity. Contained
in each package will be the hardware
and materials needed to equip Pershing
r-A units completely, one at a time.
W hen each package is ready, it will
be shipped-under SWAP escort-to
a rcceiving area close to the final user.
H ere the third, or exchange, phase
begins.

Fig. 4. Blurring of photo image suggests speed of rnpid-erection test on secondgeneration ground-support equipment for the P ershing missile (Mor tin-Mnrietto photo).

T he basic consideration in the exchange is to accomplish the well-organized conversion and retraining of
Pershing units without loss of combat
readincss. T he complete package will
be placed in the hands of troops at
unit sites. T here will follow a concentrated troop retraining period on
the new equipment, at the end of
which the Pershing r equipment will
be withdrawn. T he unit then will be
a fu ll-Bedged Pershing r-A organization, ready to fig ht if needed.
T he final phase is the d isposal of
exccss or obsolete Pershing r materials,
the recond itioning of usable itcms, and
-evcntually-termination of Project
SWAP.

L

ISTS of excess items will be providcd to appropriate item managers
with a requcst for disposition instructions. W hen instructions are received,
the exccsses will be shipped to designated activities or delivered to appropriate disposal officers as directcd.
One of the biggest and most significant advantagcs of Project SWAP-at
least from the user's point of viewis that the unit is relieved of all responsibility for the disposition of obsolete equipment and of the reams of
paper work that go with it. The disposal phase will be handled by the
SWAP team and not by the user.
With all Pershing units and activities
fu ll y equipped and stocks converted to
Pershing r-A, the marshaling area and
staging facilities will be closed . The ,
contract will be terminated, people will
return to their home bases, and Project
SWAP will be left to historians.
Pershing and the units equipped
with the system will have assumed a
new look. And they also will have
taken on new and significant status and
a foremost place in the a rray of sophisticated weaponry designed to prevent
if possible-but win if need be-the
next major confüct.
• •

,

The Pershing Is 1-A
Lt. Co!. Edwin A. Rudd

T

HE Un ited States A rm y's mightiest weapon, the Pershing missile,
has come of age. lt now is moving into second-generation ground-support equipment fo r transporting and
launching the 2-stage, surface-to-surface
nuclear artillery round.
When the improved Pershing r-A
missile system first takes to the field in
the not-too-distant future, it will be one
of the most thoroughly proved, most
cost-effective assemblies of h ardware
to be found in any major system. W eil
might it be, as a result of the extensive
- and exhaustive- testing conducted
on the new ground-support equipment
over the past 2 years. And the equ ipment will have reached the hands of
troops through a unique, perhaps even
revolutionary pipeline.
Managed by the U. S. Army Missile
Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.,
the new version of the system combines
much of the original one with the invaluable know-how born only of experience. The result: a more reliable,
durable, highly mobile, fast-reacting
weapon, through improved equi pment
- with a significant economy effected
through retention of the dependable 35foot missile already in the inventory.
The most obvious difference between
the Pershing now deployed in Europe
and the second-generation Pershing r-A
to replace it is a switch from tracks to
wheels. Less obvious, but at least
equally significant, are an automatic
countdown facility, computer devices,
and a capability for automatic self-test
and malfunction isolation, all contained
in the newer version. There are other
advances, too.

THE
orig inal missile-now
Pershing r-was conceived

called
to replace Redstone by an Army-industry
team in late 1957. The firs t contract for
design studies was issued by the Army
Fig. 1. Pershing 1-A firing at White Sands
Missile Range, N . Mex. (Army photo).

to the O rlando Division of Martin
Marietta Corporation in March 1958.
A scant 22 months later, in Janu ary
1960, the first Pershing launch was
carried out by the prime contractor at
Cape K ennedy, starting one of the most
successful strings of major system firings experienced at the Cape to date.
From February 1960 to April 1963,
Pershing missiles streaked through thc
skies over the Atlantic with great success.
Meanwhile, in June 1962 at F ort
Sill, O kla., the 2nd Battalion, 44th
Artillery, was activated. The 2/ 44th
was the first of five U . S. Army Pershing units now equipped with the supersonic, solid-fuel weapon.

road marches, countdowns, and firings
under far more grueling conditions
than ever were faced at the Cape.
Despite the harsh simulated-combat
environment, Army artillerymen have
set an enviable firing record, with
launchings from as fa r away as G reen
River, Utah, and across the fo ur-corners
area of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and
New Mexico- to impact on target at

Ü THER

artillery battalions subsequently activated as Pershing un its
include the 4/41st, 1/81st and 3/ 84th
- all now on station in Europe with
the 56th Artillery Group-and the 2/
79th, located at Fort Sill with the
2/44th.
In August 1963, Pershing was handed
over to the 2/ 44th for Army troop
firings into White Sands Missile Range,
N. Mex., and became the first tactical
ballistic missile to be fired over populated U. S. territory. Operating from
rugged mounta in and desert country,
Pershing has since withstood rigorous

~.•.j

••

Weapons Technology

This second-generation missile system, now mounted on wheels rather
than tracks, has an autoniatic countdown facility, computer devices,
and a capability f or testing itself and isolating any maljunctions
White Sands, some 400 miles distant.
Pershing units initially were assigned
to Europe in 1964. Currently, the three
battalions deployed there represent the
most powerful Army units ever organized. In preselected positions, they are
poised across the Continent, standing
ready to deliver a nuclear knockout
blow aga inst vital enemy targetsshould such devastating action ever become necessary.
J N its Quick Reaction Alert (QRA)
mission, Pershing takes its place
alongside the Navy's Polaris and the
Air Force's Minuteman and Titan systems as a deterrent against aggression.
Also operational with the Pershing
system a re "gruppes"-groups-of the
Federal Republic of Germany Air
Force. A gruppe is roughly equivalent
to an American battalion.
Currently, Pershing r batteries are
mounted on M474 tracked vehicles.
Each firing battery has four primary
elements. Heading the line of march
is the warhead vehicle, which also
carries the azimuth-laying gear. Second
is the erector-launcher which cradles
the main section of the missile and
serves as the launch pad. The third of
the tracked carriers houses tl1e programmer-test station, as weil as the
power station for the system. The last
vehicle is the radio terminal station.
Under the new concept, Pershing
1-A will replace the M474 tracked vehicle with a prime mover developed by
Ford Motor Company, the 5-ton M656.
The new 8-wheeled drive (8 X 8)
transporter has four steerable front
wheels and permits rapid movement
over improved roads without serious
loss of cross-country maneuverability.
When operational, the wheeled carriers will add speed and mobility to
Pershing battalions, improving their
present ability to move rapidly in and
out of preselected firing sites. Oilier
advantages lie in original dollar savings
in procurement of wheeled vehicles
rather than the more costly tracks, and
in a reduction in maintenance costs-

180

inherently high in any tracked carrier.
The softer ride on rubber tircs cuts
vibration of equipment and further
contributes to reduced maintenance requirements and costs. With a smoother
ride comes increased reliability in the
missile itself and in its supporting
equipment.
In the new line of march, ilie Pershi ng 1-A battery will have several missiles, each on its own improved erector-launcher and carrying a warhead
section. The two sections can be mated
quickly by use of a h ydraulic davit
built into the erector-launcher.
Also built in are hydraulic-pneumatic lifts which raise the missile from
the horizontal traveling cradle to the
vertical firing position in a matter of
seconds--cutting erection time to less
than half that required by current
equipment. The erector-launcher is
transportable in C-130 aircraft.
An improved programmer-test station mounted on the M656 cargo truck
provides the means for rapid missile
check-out and countdown. It is equipped
with computer control devices and is
capable of automatic self-test and malfunction isolation.
electronic packaging feaM ODERN
turing replaceable plug-in micromodules allows the operator to perform
fault isolation right at ilie firing site.
Mountcd on the same truck is the
power station which provides energy
for the entire system. This vehicle is,
in effect, a portable blockhouse.
A new but integral part of the march
order of a Pershing r-A firing unit
will be a battery control central (BCC).
Mounted in an "expando-van," the
BCC is designed to provide the battery
commander with a sheltered command
post from which he can monitor and

Colonel Rudd is Pershing
Project Manager for the U. S.
Army Missile Command. He
is stationed at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala.

direct firing-site activities. The BCC
will be linked by radio to higher headquarters for positive command and
control.
The fourth M656 in the line-up will
carry ilie radio-terminal set, which
provides eiilier line-of-sight or tropospheric-scatter voice and teletype networks for the battery. This mobile
communications center is topped by an
inflatable parabolic antenna which can
be stowed in a recessed space during
road travel.
improved, faster, more reliW ITH
able ground support, Pershing
becomes better equipped for its quickreaction-alert (QRA) role. In the QRA
posture, the Pershing 1-A firing battery
-with its fully assembled missiles and
improved programmer-test stationscan fire any combination of consecutive
rounds, or a formidable salvo of missiles. With four such batteries in each
U. S. battalion, the massive, overwhelming firepower of a Pershing battalion is readily apparent.
Each Pershing battalion is organized
as a self-sustaining tactical and administrative unit, composed of a headquarters battery and a service battery
to support the four missile-firing batteries. Each firing battery, in turn, has
included in it the necessary administrative and mess personnel-thus providing for sustained field operations independent of battalion headquarters.
In its current QRA role, each Pershing I firing battery consists of 5 officers, 1 warrant officer, and 149 enlisted
men. The battery strength of a Pershing 1-A unit currently is a matter of
extensive study.
However, it is apparent that with
the Pershing 1-A, iliere can be a better
than 400 per cent increase in missiledelivery capability wiili only a slightly
!arger number of battery personnel
than wim ilie Pershing r. The over-all
result is a significant step toward greater cost effectiveness in tbe missile
business.
To ensure ilie kind of dependability

ORDNANCE

expected of the Pershing x-A system,
a series of extensive tests has been conducted under every imaginable condition. Thousands of miles of backwoods
roads, trails, hills, bumps, and mudholes have been traversed by the equipment, including the erector-launcher
and the missile.
each major segment
FOLLOWING
of a test, the equipment was run
into a field site and placed under
simulated countdown and launch conditions. Despite rugged treatment and
brutal pounding, the equipment responded remarkably well; it showed
every promise of withstanding all types
of conditions anywhere in the world.
Further to prove its durability, the
Pershing x-A equipment was taken to
Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., for 12
weeks of testing in the Climatic Laboratory at the Air Proving Ground. There
it was subjected to rain, sleet, ice, and
snow at ternperatures ranging from
above 150 degrees Fahrenheit to more
than 55 degrees below zero. Weather
changes were altered rapidly in an
effort to induce ternperature shock.
Again, the ercctor-launcher with its
missile was put through its paces at
scheduled periods and at all temperatures. And again, the sirnulated countdown and launch procedures were successful.
In March of this year, the first actual
launch of a missile from Pershing 1-A
ground-support equipment was conducted at White Sands Missile Range,
N. Mex., where three successful firings
were accomplished by Martin Marietta
engineers. In July, the first troop firings
were conducted by elements of the
2/44th Artillery, launching from Gilson Butte, Utah, onto White Sands
Missile Range.

M

EANWHILE, planning is under
way to satisfy the overriding requirement of retai ning combat efficiency in a major missile unit while it
is being reequipped. The trick, of
course, is in switching from Pershing 1
to Pershing x-A ground-support equipment, whi le at the same time assuring
100 per cent target coverage. This is
especially critical for the 56th Artillery
Group which supports NATO forces
in Europe.
To meet this challenge, a new and
novel concept has been developed by
the Arrny Missile Cornmand: all Per-

Fig. 2. Pershing 1-A 's battery contro l central (BCC), mouoted in an ex~a~do-van oo an M656 truck, gives the battery commander ?n exc~llent firm„i
site post nnd a radio link with higher beadquarters (Martm-Manetta photo )·

shing ground-support equipment, including several hundred vehicles as weil
as the sophisticated electronics and
computer gear needed to fire a missile,
will be swapped-with no reduction in
combat readiness for the user unit. The
name for this king-s ized logistics concept came easily-Project SWAP.
Under Project SWAP, all components of the Pershing 1-A system will
be marshaled at Cape Kennedy, Fla.,
from which point they will be delivered
to user units as an operational package.
During a transitional period, both
Pershing r and Pershing 1-A systems
will be in the field. Thcn target responsibility will be transferred to Pershing
r-A, and excess Pershing I equipment
will be withdrawn for disposition.

This is a broad-brush explanation of
ehe SWAP concept-but it is much
more complex and involved than that.

eo

"SIDERATION of any plans for
Pershing conversion had to take
into account the needs of many Army
agencies and commands. It became
obvious to ehe planners that success
would require some form of centralized control to guarantee proper coordination and to pinpoint responsibility for final problem-solving. This
over-all control eventually was vested in
ehe Pershing Program Manager at the
Army Missile Command.
The first step in the SWAP program
was to establish phases to coincide
wirb over-all Army requirements and

Fig. 3. Mounted on rubber t ires instead of tracked vehicles, the new Pershing 1-A
system mounts the complete missile-cra~led on a oew, fa_st -erec~ed launcher
-on one carrier, pulled by an M757 prime mover (Martm- Manetta photo).

Weapons Technology

Pershing missile nnd equipment being tested nt 55 degrees be low zer o in C limntic L aboratory, Eglin AFB, F ln.

with the Pershing r-A production
schedule at Martin Marietta. These
evolved into four major areas : ( r)
planning, (2) marshaling, (3) exchange, and (4) disposition.

M

ORE than a year and a half of
planning already has been devoted to SWAP. In addition to the
Missile Command, every other command or agency with an interest in
Pershing has had to develop maintenance and conversion concepts or programs to cover the items they manage
and to make provision for their own
participation at various stages of the
changeover.
The master plan had to be broad
enough to encompass detailed procedures covering every aspect of Project
SWAP from the very beginning to
final disposition of Pershing r items.
And it had to be flexible enough to

ensure that changes in material or
policy could be accomplished in an
orderly way.
Marshaling of materials within a
!arge hangar and hardstand area at
Cape Kennedy started early this summer. There the SWAP team-made up
of military and civilian representatives
of the Missile Command and Martin
Marietta technicians under contract to
the Command, has but one interestPershingl
The team's primary responsibility is
the preparation of "packages" for each
training or tactical activity. Contained
in each package will be the hardware
and materials needed to equip Pershing
r-A units completely, one at a time.
When each package is ready, it will
be shipped- under SWAP escort-to
a receiving area dose to the final user.
Here the third, or exchange, phase
begins.

Fig. 4. Blurring of photo image suggests speed of rapid-erection test on secondgeneration ground-support equipment for tbe Pershing missile ( Martin-Marietta photo ).

The basic consideration in the exchange is to accomplish the well-organized conversion and retraining of
Pershing units without loss of combat
readiness. The complete package will
be placed in the hands of troops at
unit sites. There will follow a concentratcd troop retraining period on
the new equipment, at the end of
which ehe Pershing 1 equipment will
be withdrawn. The unit then will be
a full-fledged Pershing r-A organization, ready to fight if needed.
The final phase is the disposal of
excess or obsolete Pershing I materials,
ehe reconditioning of usablc items, and
-cventually-termination of Project
SWAP.

L

ISTS of excess items will bc provided to appropriate item managers
with a rcqucst for disposition instructions. Whcn instructions are received,
the excesses will be shipped to designated activities or delivered to appropriatc d isposal officers as directed.
One of the biggcst and most significant advantages of Project SWAP-at
least from the user's point of viewis that the unit is relieved of all responsibility for the disposition of obsolete equipment and of the reams of
papcr work that go with it. The disposal phase will be handled by ehe
SWAP team and not by the user.
With all Pershing units and activities
fully equippcd a nd stocks converted to
Pershing 1-A, the marshaling area and
staging facilities will be closcd. The
contract will be terminated, pcople will
return to their home bases, and Project
SWAP will be left to historians.
Pershing and the units equipped
with the system will have assumcd a
new look. And they also will have
taken on new and significant status and
a foremost place in the array of sophisticated weaponry designed to prevent
if possible- but win if need be- thc
next major conflict.
• •