The MGM-52 Lance
was a mobile field artillery
tactical surface-to-surface missile
) system used to provide both nuclear
and conventional fire support
to the United States Army
. The missile's warhead was developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The first Lance missiles were deployed in 1972, replacing the earlier Honest John
rocket and Sergeant SRBM
ballistic missile, greatly reducing the weight and bulk of the system, while improving both accuracy and mobility.
A Lance battery (two fire units) consisted of two M752
launchers (one missile each) and two M688 auxiliary vehicle (two missiles each), for a total six missiles. The firing rate per unit was approximately three missiles per hour.
The payload consisted either of a W70
nuclear warhead with a yield of 1-100 kt or a variety of conventional munitions. The W70-3 nuclear warhead version was one of the first warheads to be battlefield-ready with an "enhanced radiation" (neutron bomb
) capability. Conventional munitions included cluster bombs for use against SAM-Sites, heat seeking Anti-Tank Cluster Munitions or a single conventional shape charged warhead for penetrating hard targets. The original design considered a chemical weapon
warhead option, but this development was cancelled in 1970.
With the signing of the INF Treaty
in 1987, the United States Army began withdrawing Lance missiles... Read More