Quantcast Launcher support equipment

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The vertical launcher support equipment consists of a sill adapter assembly, a canister adapter, and a plenum cell cover that are coated with a heat-absorbing ablative material that protects the equipment from heat damage.

The sill adapter assembly is an open, funnel-like, steel weldment assembly that provides the lower mating surface for the missile canisters. The sill assembly also directs missile exhaust away from the sides of the missile cell and into the plenum.

The canister adapter is a combination nozzle and spacer installed under the bottom of the canister to prevent rocket motor exhaust gases from circulating back into the canister. When used in an empty cell, the canister adapter holds the plenum cover at latching height.

The plenum cell cover is used with the canister adapter to seal cell openings when a canister is not in place. The cover also prevents gas from missile firings in that module from entering the empty cell.


The gas management system includes all the systems, assemblies, adapters, and covers that were discussed in the vertical launcher and launcher support equipment sections. The purpose of the gas management system is to direct exhaust gases from a missile firing to the external atmosphere.

Another part of gas management is the blowout system. It removes toxic fumes from the launcher by opening vent lines and activating the motor controller of the vent fan. After a missile firing, the blowout system must be operated for a minimum of 20 minutes before personnel enter the launcher and for 1 minute each hour thereafter that personnel remain in the launcher.


The VLS power distribution consists of an ac power distribution system THAT applies 60-Hz, three-phase, 115 VAC and 440 VAC to the motor control panel (MCP), power distribution panels, system transformer platform, and module transformer platform. Dc power is produced within the MCP for equipment use outside of the MCP, such as prelaunch operations, hatch motors, and the Tomahawk missile prelaunch phase.


Fault processing is the detection and reporting of faults within the VLS. This process can be accomplished by system level fault detection and reporting operations or local level built-in test equipment (BITE) tests.

System level BITE tests are conducted only when the VLS is in standby mode and LAUNCH ENABLE is not applied to the launcher. The LCU initiates a system level BITE test within approximately 30 seconds from the time the VLS is placed in the standby mode and every 2 hours thereafter. Other system BITE tests include the LCU, single module, system module, and deluge BITE tests.


In this chapter we described the major GMLSs currently in the fleet, focusing on the major components, function, and operation. In subsequent chapters we will discuss their secondary and auxiliary equipment, guided missiles, ordnance handing equipment, and other maintenance requirements associated with the different types of GMLSs.


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