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British Industrial History

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Avro: Blue Steel

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During 1956 the Weapons Research Division of A. V. Roe & Co Ltd were entrusted with the entire development of a major weapon system under the code name of Blue Steel'Bold text'. Known in Britain as a "stand-off bomb," Blue Steel is a miniature supersonic aeroplane capable of being launched at high altitude and high subsonic speed from a V-bomber and thereafter transporting a megaton-yield warhead several hundred miles to a preselected target.

The missile had self-contained inertial guidance by Elliott Brothers, which during captive flight is monitored by other airborne equipment and assists in the navigation of the parent aircraft (a Vulcan B.2 or Victor B.2).[1]

Propulsion was provided by the de Havilland Double Spectre rocket engine. Following release of the Blue Steel from the parent aircraft, the lower (variable-thrust) engine was fired first at any thrust setting from idling to maximum; immediately thereafter the upper (fixed-thrust) engine was fired.[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Flight 11 March 1960
  2. Flight 28 August 1959