Quantcast Stowage

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You will be responsible for the care of the missiles while they are in stowage. That is an important task since a missile spends about 99 percent of its existence in stowage. A large part of this care is related to maintaining magazine environmental control and fire suppression systems in good working order.

Magazine temperature and humidity levels must be checked If they begin to exceed established tolerances, positive action must be taken immediately. Be sure to inform your work center supervisor of the situation.

Good housekeeping has to be practiced in any ordnance stowage area. Maximum effort must be made to keep the magazine area clean. Do not let dirt, oil, or greases accumulate to create potential fire hazards. Oily rags are particularly dangerous.

Missile airframes are not watertight structures. That point was emphasized when we discussed training missiles near the end of chapter 6. Live missiles are subject to the same corrosive damage as are training missiles. Although the problem is not as acute with live missiles (because they are handled less), it is just as serious. Don't let the live missile get wet.

Since (live) missiles are in stowage most of their time aboard ship, how can they get wet? Unfortunately, magazine sprinkler wetdown is all too often the cause. And, as you know, most wetdowns are generally traced to personnel error. We won't repeat the applicable sprinkler warnings, although they cannot be stressed enough. An important point to remember is that ANY wetdown experience MUST be immediately reported through the chain of command

Special measures must be taken if the missiles have been exposed to salt water, as from a wetdown. Each missile must be examined carefully for any evidence of saltwater contamination. Give particular attention to all joints, launching shins, and firing contacts. DTRMs and boosters that had water enter their bore must not be used. These rounds (with wet rocket motors) must be returned to an NWS.

Corrective action after a wetdown involves washing the missile with fresh water. The missile is then dried and corrosion preventive compounds are applied. Every missile subjected to wetdown must be reexamined within 30 days. Details as to the extent and location of corrosion must be noted in the service record of the missile. If the problems are severe enough and continue to worsen, the missile(s) maybe totally ruined. Therefore, after any wetdown, the missile(s) must be turned in to the nearest NWS or missile-handling facility.


You will be required to inspect the missiles at different intervals. Generally, these inspections are visual and are limited to the external surfaces of the round. Inspection procedures and points to check are outlined on maintenance requirement cards (MRCs) or in the applicable Ops. You check different things on different missiles, so be sure to refer to the applicable References.

Normally, missile inspections can be divided into three major periods-receipt, routine, and off-load. These are special inspection situations such as after a casualty wetdown or dud/misfire occurrence. Appropriate MRCs or missile handling Ops exist to provide instructions for these conditions.

The receipt or on-load inspection is very important. Before the missile is moved to the magazine, go over it with a fine-tooth comb. Using an MRC/OP as a guide, check for cracks, dents, chips, and other external surface damage. IdeaIly, the surface of the radome should be perfectly smooth. But, sometimes, bubbles will appear on its surface. The MRC/OP will give size-tolerances of these bubbles; if they are beyond a certain dimension, the round must not be used.

Ensure all control surfaces are installed and folded correctly. Verify that all safety wiring and protective seals are intact. Antenna surfaces must not be soiled or

scratched. If you discover or think you've discovered a problem during a receipt inspection, notify proper authority immediate] y. If the problem can be verified to be beyond acceptable standards, the ship can reject the missile.

Periodically, every missile must be removed from the magazine and given a routine inspection. The interval of routine inspections may vary, but semiannual and/or annual inspections are most common. Many of the same points checked during a receipt inspection are rechecked. Cleaning and preservation work is also performed. Routine inspections are important checks as they contribute to the long-term reliability of the missile.

An off-load inspection is conducted as the missile leaves the ship. If you have faithfully performed the other inspections, the off-load checks should go rather quickly.

The results of any inspection will be logged in a guided missile service record (GMSR). Compare a GMSR to your own health or dental record. Any time you have a physical, the results are recorded to establish your medical history or file. The same thing applies to a missile and its inspection results.


You will be responsible for the cleanliness and preservation of the missiles. These actions are normally performed as part of the routine inspection procedures.

Without fail, your missiles WILL get dirty. They'll get stained from oil and grease drippings and even shoe polish scuff marks. Missiles are not cleaned and preserved just to make them "look pretty." This work is accomplished for some very valid reasons. Cleanliness directly contributes to the prelaunch and in-flight performance of the round.

For example, we mentioned antennas as an item you had to inspect. Suppose a big glob of grease falls onto a proximity antenna. Yes, that glob of grease could

affect the operation of a warheads fuze by blocking or distorting the transmitted/received signal. What if a movable tail-control surface rusted in place? Steering and stability control would be severely hampered. Items such as these must be checked, cleaned, and preserved.

Cleaning generally involves the use of good old soap and water along with elbow grease. The outer surfaces of the missile are washed to remove any accumulations of unwanted materials. Be sure to consult the maintenance instructions and use the approved detergents. Warnings will often be included stating where abrasive cleansers (like scouring powder) may or may not be used.

Preservation involves applying corrosion preventive compounds to the external surfaces of the missile. These compounds are designed to resist the effects of moisture on a metal surface. The MRC/OP instructions will specify the currently approved materials and explain where and how to apply the compounds.


In this chapter we explained how the explosive compounds described in chapter 1 are used in modern Navy gun ammunition. We also described how this ammunition is identified with both color coding and lot numbers. We discussed how ammunition stocks are accounted for and what reporting procedures are used by ammunition managers. We looked at some of the different types of stowage magazines and how these magazines are protected with sprinkler systems. We described some of the handling equipment and the training and safety requirements involved in handling ammunition. Finally, we described missile processing and associated handling equipment. For detailed information and/or additional descriptions of the equipment and procedures discussed in this chapter, you should refer to the References cited.


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