Wasserfall

The Wasserfall Ferngelenkte FlaRakete (Waterfall Remote-Controlled A-A Rocket[1]:77) was a German guided supersonic surface-to-air missile project of World War II. Development was not completed before the end of the war and it was not used operationally.

Wasserfall
TypeSurface-to-air missile
Production history
ManufacturerFlak-Versuchskommando Nord, EMW Peenemünde
Unit cost7,000–10,000 Reichsmark
ProducedMarch 1943
Specifications
Mass3,700 kilograms (8,200 lb)
Length7.85 metres (25.8 ft)
Diameter.864 metres (2 ft 10.0 in)
Warhead235 kilograms (518 lb)
Detonation
mechanism
Proximity

Engineliquid-propellant rocket motor
Operational
range
25 kilometres (16 mi)
Maximum speed 770 metres per second (1,700 mph)
Guidance
system
MCLOS (Manual Command to Line Of Sight); operator used a radio command link to steer the missile along the optical line of sight from launch point to target.
Launch
platform
Fixed

The system was based on many of the technologies developed for the V-2 rocket program, including the rocket itself, which was essentially a much scaled-down version of the V-2 airframe. The rocket motor used new fuels as it was expected to be stored in ready-to-fire form for months, and the guidance system used external fins for control instead of relying entirely on the steerable rocket motor exhaust.

Among the many development problems, control of the high-speed rocket was a significant concern, leading to the development of a radio control system where the operator sat in a reclining chair so they could see the target as it passed overhead. Another significant problem was the lack of a suitable proximity fuse, which was required as there was no way for the operator to visually determine when the rocket was close to a target that was directly above it. A radar-aided system was still under development and not ready for operational use.


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