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Weapon System was a United States Armed Forces military designation scheme for experimental weapons[1] (e.g., WS-220) before they received an official name — e.g., under a military aircraft designation system. The new designator reflected the increasing complexity of weapons that required separate development of auxiliary systems or components.

In November 1949, the Air Force decided to build the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger around a fire-control system.[2] This was "the real beginning of the weapon system approach [and the] aircraft would be integrated into the weapon system "as a whole from the beginning, so the characteristics of each component were compatible with the others".[3]

Around February 1950, an Air Research and Development Command "study prepared by Maj Gen Gordon P. Saville...recommended that a 'systems approach' to new weapons be adopted [whereby] development of a weapon "system" required development of support equipment as well as the actual hardware itself."[4]:166

The first WS designation was WS-100A.[5]

US weapon programs were often begun as numbered government specifications such as an Advanced Development Objective (e.g., ADO-40) or a General Operational Requirement (e.g., GOR.80), although some programs were initially identified by contractor numbers (e.g., CL-282).1

List of numbered programs for US military systems
Number Link to Wikipage
Project 3[6]:67 TCP for technical intelligence collection systems
Program 101, 102 (GOR-170)[2] Samos (satellite)
WS-104A SM-64 Navaho
WS-107A SM-65 Atlas
WS-110 XB-70 Valkyrie
WS-117L (GOR.80)[6]:80–87 Advanced Reconnaissance System (originally Project 1115);[7]:30 recoverable capsule - Pied Piper/Sentry/SAMOS; television transmission - unfeasible;:87 Subsystem G: MiDAS
WS-119B (USAF 7795)[6]:139 Bold Orion ASAT
WS-119L Project Moby Dick (originally Project Genetrix)[7]:31–32
WS-120A BGM-75 AICBM
Article 121 Lockheed A-12
WS-124A Project Flying Cloud[8]
WS-125 (B-72)
WS-133A (United States Armed Forces military designation scheme for experimental weapons[1] (e.g., WS-220) before they received an official name — e.g., under a military aircraft designation system. The new designator reflected the increasing complexity of weapons that required separate development of auxiliary systems or components.

In No

In November 1949, the Air Force decided to build the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger around a fire-control system.[2] This was "the real beginning of the weapon system approach [and the] aircraft would be integrated into the weapon system "as a whole from the beginning, so the characteristics of each component were compatible with the others".[3]

Around February 1950, an Air Research and Development Command "study prepared by Maj Gen Gordon P. Saville...recommended that a 'systems approach' to new weapons be adopted [whereby] development of a weapon "system" required development of support equipment as well as the actual hardware itself."[4]:166

The first WS designation was WS-100A.[5]

US weapon programs were often begun as numbered government specifications such as an Advanced Development Objective (e.g., ADO-40) or a General Operational Requirement (e.g., GOR.80), although some programs were initially identified by contractor numbers (e.g., CL-282).1

^1 When a government program number is not available, a contractor number (if available) is used in the table, e.g., Lockheed CL-282 for the U-2.

  1. ^ http://www.acronymfinder.com/Military-and-Government/MX.html
  2. ^ Donald 2003, pp. 68–69
  3. ^ Grant Historical Study No. 126 p. 53
  4. ^ Daso, Dik (Major, USAF) (September 1997). Architects of American Air Supremacy: General Hap Arnold and Dr Theodore von Kármán. Air University Press. pp. 76, 166.
  5. ^ Parsch, Andreas. "Designations Of U.S. Air Force Projects". Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Burroughs, William E. (1988) [1986]. Deep Black (paperback ed.). New York: Berkley Publishing Group. ISBN 0-425-10879-1.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Stares, Paul B. "The Militarization of Space". Retrieved 2008-11-24.
  8. ^ Parsch, Andreas (21 March 2006). "WS-124A Flying Cloud". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles. Designation-Systems. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  9. ^ Cite NORAD Historical Summary 1958 January–June, p. 106
  10. ^ "Correspondence: Weapon System" (Flighglobal/Archive). Flight. 6 February 1959. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  11. ^ Cooksley, Peter G (1979). Flying Bomb. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. p. 141.
  12. ^ Preston, Bob (1994). "Plowshares and Power: The Military Use of Civil Space". p. 250.
  13. ^ Braun, Wernher von; Ordway III, Frederick I; Dooling, David Jr (1985) [1975]. Space Travel: A History. New York: Harper & Row. p. 132. ISBN 0-06-181898-4.