Pershing 1a Missile (1977)


Pershing was a family of solid-fueled two-stage medium-range ballistic missiles designed and built by Martin Marietta to replace the Redstone missile as the United States Army's primary theater-level weapon. It was named for General John J. Pershing. The systems were managed by the US Army Missile Command (MICOM) and deployed by the United States Army Field Artillery Corps.

Pershing Ia

In 1964, a series of operational tests and follow-on tests were performed to determine the reliability of the Pershing 1. The Secretary of Defense then requested that the Army define the modifications required to make Pershing suitable for the quick reaction alert (QRA) role. The Pershing 1A development program was approved in 1965, and the original Pershing was renamed to Pershing I. Martin Marietta received the Pershing 1A production contract in mid-1967. The 2nd Battalion, 44th Field Artillery received equipment at Fort Sill in 1969. Project SWAP replaced all of the Pershing equipment in Germany by mid-1970 and the first units quickly achieved QRA status.

Pershing 1A was a 'quick reaction alert' system and so had faster vehicles, launch times and newer electronics. The total number of launchers was increased from eight to 36 per battalion. It was deployed from May 1969 and by 1970 almost all the Pershing I systems had been upgraded to Pershing Ia under Project SWAP. Production of the Pershing Ia ended in 1975 and reopened in 1977 to replace missiles expended in training. In the mid-1970s the Pershing 1A system was further improved to allow the firing of a platoon's three missiles in quick succession and from any site without the need for surveying. 754 Pershing I/Ia missiles were built with 180 deployed in Europe.[8]

The battalions in Europe were reorganized under new tables of organization and equipment (TOE); an infantry battalion was authorized and formed to provide additional security for the system; and, the 56th Artillery Group was reorganized and redesignated the 56th Field Artillery Brigade. Due to the nature of the weapon system, officer positions were increased by one grade: batteries were commanded by a major instead of a captain; battalions were commanded by a colonel and the brigade was commanded by a brigadier general.

The erector launcher (EL) was a modified low-boy flat-bed trailer towed by a Ford M757 5-ton tractor. The erection booms used a 3,000 psi pneumatic over hydraulic system that could erect the 5 ton missile from horizontal to vertical in nine seconds. The PTS and PS were mounted on a Ford M656 tractor. Launch activation was performed from a remote fire box that could be deployed locally or mounted in the battery control central (BCC). One PTS controlled three launchers-- when one launch count was complete, ten large cables were moved to the next launcher.

A repackaging effort of the missile and power station was completed in 1974 to provide easier access to missile components, reduce maintenance, and improve reliability. A new digital guidance and control computer combined the functions of the analog control computer and the analog guidance computer into one package. The mean corrective maintenance time was decreased from 8.7 hours to a requirement of 3.8 hours. The reliability inceased from 32 hours mean time between failures to a requirement of 65 hours. In 1976, the sequential launch adapter (SLA) and the automatic reference system (ARS) were introduced. The SLA was an automatic switching device mounted in a 10 trailer that allowed the PTS to remain connected to all three launchers. This allowed all three launchers to remain "hot" and greatly decreasing the time between launches. The ARS eliminated the theodolites previously used to lay and orient the missile. It included a north seeking gyro and a laser link to the ST-120 in the missile. Once the ARS was set up, a cold missile could be oriented in a much shorter time.

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Author jkevinmccon (2 months)
I noticed this is Pershing 1a with the block 7 modifications from 1975/76.
The Sequential Launch Adapter (SLA) was part of that upgrade, along with
the ARU (Automatic Reference Unit). It had some fascinating technology like
a "north seeking gyro" that would automatically find grid north with
incredible accuracy, by sensing the actual rotation of the earth on its
axis. The SLA was insanely complicated. It had to physically switch about a
thousand electrical connections from launcher to launcher in one single
operation. And do it in the snow, ice, rain and mud. The idea was to speed
up the firing of all three missiles before the artillery position was
destroyed by a retaliatory strike. It was really something!

Author ungratefulmetalpansy (5 months)
Is it weird I get a boner at the same time the missile is erected?

Author Aberdumbie (1 year)
LOL..... Capable of fording many inland waterways...... I wouldn't drive my
757 thru anything my pick up couldn't handle....

Author Butch See (1 year)
I liked the video it brought back lots of memories!

Author Mike Foxhollow (1 year)
I was also A Btry 3/84 FA NECKARSUM ... and wondering if the adjustments
for the 1A moved out of the old Kasern. I was an Erector Launcher Operator
the Pershing I in 1967-68 The IA sure erected quickly, but loss of the
tracked M474's sure took a lot of fun out of it!

Author chacken69 (7 years)
810 me srry

Author bestamerica (4 years)
' come on american,,, american can make many pershing missiles and can hit
destroy all iran missiles, china missiles, north korea missiles, ussr
russia missiles

Author Kimberly Huddle (3 years)
Many moons ago this was my career. If you think watching the thing load
it's paper tape in memory was painfull, you should try troubleshooting and
repairing the damn thing.

Author epd609 (2 years)
did do well with the german girls they loved us GI's

Author ShitFromTransASS (4 years)
@bestamerica You speak like angry arrogant kid who knows nothing about cold
war history who knows nothing about Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces
Treaty who knows nothing how many SS-4 SS-5 SS-12 SS-20 were honestly
destroyed according to this treaty in USSR who can't give an example of
even single treaty broken by USSR, but still claims bullshit who talks like
5 year old "USSRussia is bad evil bad copy steal buy bad China Russia"

Author chacken69 (7 years)
go to 7: 45 in the time

Author ezeekeel2 (2 years)
Pershing Missile Alumni group on Facebook, representing from early 60's to
early 90's...look us up. Sp4 21g10 D Co. 55th Sup Bn. ORF Neu-Ulm Nelson
Kaserne 1984-1986

Author goobectomy (7 years)
Sam Bell 1st, 81st 1985 where are you?

Author Dan Iacobescu (5 years)
How much time was needed to emplace and get the Pershing missile ready for
firing? Was it also capable of firing a non nuclear warhead, or just a
nuclear warhead? How fast its TEL was?

Author disamjisa (5 years)
@ 4:36 Fuck, that is excruciating, watching that 70s computer load for like
two minutes

Author Evan20008 (4 years)
I was on the BMRI Team 1974-76. Spent most of my time traveling from
Kaserne to Kaserne inspecting unit's readiness in the field, on Sites, and
in Kaserne's. Lived off-post and was always on TDY. Great assignment and
worked with a great bunch of guys... General Robert Hankins was an awesome

Author JuanCarlosJones (5 years)
74th USAFAD @ Lagerlechfeld. '76-'78

Author epd609 (2 years)
did do well with the german girls they loved us GI's

Author Dan Iacobescu (3 years)
It takes so long to be made ready to fire that it can be destroyed long
before it is made ready to fire. The Russians always made better tactical
ballistic missile (and ICBMs for that matter) than the US. The Scud, the
TR-1 Temp, Oka, Tochka and now Iskander M, they all need a fraction of the
time of this missile to be made ready to fire.

Author PavelZ23 (5 years)
Can you tell any targets in Czechoslovakia of your battery?

Author ShitFromTransASS (4 years)
@bestamerica Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

Author spec5army (3 years)
@Grumpyoldgeek100 Did you know Joe Kershen (sp)

Author shazackski (3 years)
I was in Alpha 1/81 in 82-83, as an ARU operator. Damn near broke my back
humpin cables. The cold war treated me pretty good though. Made a lot of
trips to Munich to score. Smoked a lot of hash and drank a lot of beer.
Anyone remember Gunzburger Double Bock? People try and pretend it wasnt
happening, but it was. I practically lived on extra duty. Became an expert
at waxing floors with melted turtle wax. I thought I was gonna get a medal,
but DoD gave me a chapter 9 instead? LMFAO..Private Guyton

Author gus23a (4 years)
i´ve seen one of these at the lufwaffenmuseum in berlin gatow.

Author NoTorr2000 (4 years)
Programming, repairing, and maintaining this monster was my first career.
(MOS 21G) I just returned from Ft Sill where I saw one of the few Pershing
1A and Pershing 2's left in the world. :-)

Author PzGreni362 (7 years)
Die Pershing2 warn bei uns in der Nähe stationiert. Heilbronn Waldheide

Author bestamerica (4 years)
ShitFromTransASS, ' thank explain,,, dont use a word - YOU - on me,,, who
is WHO,,, let explain about the country,,, not me,,, i am not interesting
ussr russia

Author Cold Duck (4 years)
I was in the 1/81 field artillery delta battery in 1981 to 1983 as an
infantry guard. I remember being on the CAS site guarding the missiles with
our magazines duck taped shut and our magazine pouches wired shut because
some kid shot up a missile on the missile site a year before I got there!
Remember those giegermiesters?

Author disamjisa (3 years)
@TxKimberly Haha, well said.

Author spec5army (3 years)
@disamjisa I was in support not a firing battery. I repaired the Guidance
Sections and the PTS and other support equipment. So the answer is no in my

Author chacken69 (7 years)
as long communications are in order the old transformers type music is
groovy enough.

Author John Longan (5 years)
the wheeled truck/trailer increased deployment time and capability. Tracks
are slow. Wheeled vehicles can hit the autobahns and be across the country
in hours. Other specifics you will have to ask a Missile tech. I was
infantry support. I can tell you they can move these things pretty darn
fast. A lot of times, they wouldn' t be too far behind us when we were
clearing the next emplacement in the field.

Author disamjisa (3 years)
Pretty cool to see all these Pershing soldiers on here. I was only born 5
years after Pershing 2 came into service. Also pretty cool to see original
footage detailing how the system works

Author Legend813a (6 years)
The first models had a 300 kiloton warhead. Later models had a dial-a-yield
anywhere between 8 kt and 80 kt

Author PFW23 (6 years)
At Wiley Barracks, Ulm, Germany 1971-72 ....Man, THIS brought back
memories. EXCELLENT !!! FTA and the Herbies too ...yeah, man !!

Author Durr Gruver (1 year)
B Btry 3/84th FA, Heilbronn

Author ShitFromTransASS (4 years)
@ShitFromTransASS no, they can't. It would violate Intermediate-Range
Nuclear Forces Treaty

Author jeanpierre3930 (7 years)
Hi,Youtube! Is there any movie concerned about "Pershing 2 Missile"? I'd
like to see the movie concerned about "Pershing 2 Missile". Please do me a
favor(Pershing 2 Missile). (not Pershing missile)

Author ShitFromTransASS (4 years)
@bestamerica no they can't. It would violate treaties.

Author Willy Z. (2 years)
the warheads were varied with P1a - 1300lb warheads that could fire
conventional or nuke ordinance that ranged from roughly 8-480 kt 1982,
there was a 750kt warhead reportedly in the inventory .. P2 and it's
subsequent Pegasus project were in development, the Russians were screaming
for peace, not long after P2 became operational .. Pegasus would've
'parked' a warhead over a potential target in space

Author pdb6654 (1 year)
HHB 1/41 Hardt 76-79 :)

Author mudylafeet (7 years)
very nice video,thanks for uploading

Author disamjisa (3 years)
@spec5army Props to you for doing that. I hope it doesn't sound
grandiloquent or obsequious to say that people like you ensured that
Western Europe remained free, so that people like me can live in a
free-market democracy like the UK now.

Author disamjisa (3 years)
@Grumpyoldgeek100 No doubt; the Pershing was a pretty impressive system.
Just loling at the jaunty, nerdy hard-on the makers have for the bleeps and
bloops of a hard-drive on wheels.

Author Taterdawg1963 (2 years)
21 Lima Artillary Kaserne And Red Leg 83-84

Author disamjisa (5 years)
@ 7:10 Holy crap, the guys who made this movie know how to make compelling
film.. a whole minute watching some guy pressing buttons on some crappy
beeping 70s computer, whilst James Bond music plays in the background as if
something exciting is happening.. lolling so hard

Author dynmicpara (7 years)
Why does anything have to be "glamorous"? If something valid doesn't create
enthusiasm its on YOU for not having imagination to see its aspects in
creative ways. I'll give you a clue; compare the Pershing's SPEED to any
aircraft flying today.

Author Taimak77 (3 years)
My blackberry could have launched 50 of those missiles in 6 seconds...

Author bestamerica (4 years)
ShitFromTransASS, ' who is THEY,,, come on america,,, america can make it
many missiles / rockets, arms weapons,,, look at north korea, iran, china,
ussr russia, india, pakistan has alot of building missiles / rockets,,, are
countries breaks the treaties,,, ussr russia is the worse break the treaty
from america,,, ussr russia did break the united nations rules and ignore
america treaty

Author disamjisa (3 years)
@spec5army Were you guys told where your Pershings were targeted? Did it
have a target already loaded in, or would you receive an order by radio
telling you to insert tape x into machine, and it would load the targeting

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