CONTAINERS, CANISTERS, AND HANDLING EQUIPMENT
Guided missiles are sturdy, well-constructed machines. But, because of their size, weight, and bulk, they are not that easy to handle. Nor are missiles indestructible. Most missile damage is, unfortunately, a result of carelessness and poor handling practices.
To reduce the possibility of damage, missiles are shipped, stowed and handled with special equipments. Approved containers, canisters, and handling equipments provide maximum missile safety with minimum handling by personnel.
There are hundreds of different and specialized types of containers, canisters, and handling equipments in the ordnance field. Many are designed for a single purpose or use and cannot be interchanged with comparable items. Certain equipments are found only at an NWS or aboard an AE-type ship. The equipments covered in this text represent those you need to know about at this point in your career. Essentially, they are the containers, canisters, and handling equipments used to deliver missiles to a ship.
Containers and Canisters
Missile containers are large, rectangular aluminum boxes used for the shipment and stowage of missiles. Normally, combatant ships do not carry containers on board. Containers are under the cognizant control of the Navy Ships Parts Control Center (SPCC), Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, They are maintained by the NWSS and AE-type ships.
Canisters serve as the stowage and launch tube for the missile when installed on vertical launching system (VLS) ships. Also, with packaging, handling, storage, and transportation (PHST) equipment attached, the canister serves as the missile shipping container.
Missile containers and canisters are identified by a mark and mod number. Become familiar with these numbers. We will discuss the following containers and canisters:
1. Mk 372 container - Standard missiles (SM)
2. Mk 632 container - Harpoon missiles
3. Mk 183 container - ASROC missiles
4. Mk 13 canister VLS - Standard SM-2 all-up-round (AUR) missiles Block II, III, IIIA, and IIIB
5. Mk 14 Mod 0 and 1 canister VLS - Tomahawk AUR
6. Mk 15 canister VLS - ASROC missiles
MK 372 CONTAINER.- The Mk 372 Mod 5 container is used to ship and stow medium range (MR) Standard missiles (fig. 2-35).
The bottom section of the container has an inner support (base) assembly. It is shock-mounted to the outer base assembly. A missile is secured to the inner assembly with its lower forward and aft launching shoes. A center missile support (U-frame) is installed over the upper forward launching shoe. It provides a downward force on the shoe and helps secure the missile. A clamping lever (or humping fork) is located below the center missile support. It also aids in securing and prevents the missile from sliding forward.
The rectangular top cover is secured to the base by suitcase-type latches. The cover has a log receptacle, a desiccant access cover, and two air relief (breather) valves. More desiccant baskets are bolted to the inside of the cover. They are filled when the container is open. A humidity indicator is located on one end of the cover.
The Mk 372 container may be lifted by sling, forklift truck, or handlift trucks. The sling attaches to four lifting rings at the corners of the base. Two forklift channels are provided in the center of the base for
Figure 2-35.-Mk 372 Mod 5 container for Standard MR missiles.
forklift truck tines. Four handling eyes (two on each end of the base) permit handlift truck handling. container (fig. 2-36) is used to ship and stow Standard-launched Harpoon missiles. Physically and functionally it is somewhat similar to a Mk 372 container. MK 183 CONTAINER.- The Mk 183 container is used to handle ASROC missiles.
MK 632 CONTAINER.- The Mk 632 Mod 0
Figure 2-36.-Mk 632 Mod 0 container for Harpoon missiles.
Figure 2-37 shows an external view of the container. Note the prominent extensions on the top cover. They accommodate the fins of the missile. This container may be handled by sling, forklift truck, and handlift trucks too.
There are five different types of canisters currently in use on VLS ships:-Mk 13 Mod 0, Mk 14 Mods 0 and 1, Mk 15 Mod 0, Mk 21 Mod 0, and the Mk 19 Mod 0 nontactical training canister. A 16 pin coding plug in each canister is used by the VLS to identify the type, payload, and Down-Link Frequency code of the missile. A temperature sensor is used to monitor the internal canister temperature. The launcher sequencer monitors the sensor and activates the deluge system when the internal canister temperature exceeds 190°F, except during a launch. The deluge connector is coupled with the launchers quick-disconnect deluge hose. The antenna connector accepts a coaxial cable from the ships telemetry monitoring equipment to receive telemetry data from the antenna of a telemetry missile in the canister before launch. The canisters 145 pin umbilical connector is housed in a shielded box assembly which mates with the canister cable and conduit inside the canister so the launch sequencer can monitor the missile and transfer launch data. The canister safe/enable switch (CSES) is a manually activated switch that interrupts critical signals required to arm and launch missiles. End covers environmentally seal the missile canister. The aft cover is designed to allow the missile exhaust gases to flow by while still providing structural support. The forward cover is a fly-through cover. Internal components, such as rails, snubbers and deluge manifolds, are different in each type of canister. The shell structure is a steel shell with lengthwise reinforcements, and the interior and exterior surfaces are coated with an anticorrosive material. Each canister is 25 inches square but varies in length. The Mk 13 Mod 0, Mk 15 Mod 0, and Mk 19 Mod 0 canisters are 230 inches long. The Mk 14 Mods 0 & 1 and Mk 21 Mod 0 canisters are 265 inches long.