[Photo]Weapon crew carrying the AIM-9X Sidewinder to be mounted on the F-16 during the exercises conducted at Misawa Air Force Quote: USAF

In addition to the problem of efficiency of mounting work, there is a factor that becomes a problem in “where and what to mount”. That is the efficiency of mounting work. Bombs, torpedoes, and missiles carried by military aircraft are supposed to be dropped and returned during mission flights, so the efficiency of wholesale is irrelevant. However, the story is different when installing. Moreover, if it is a combat mission, I want to install it as quickly and efficiently as possible. So one interesting (?) Story. This is the story of the air-to-air missile mounted on the F-16. The F-16 has three armament stations under each of the left and right wings, as well as launch rails dedicated to air-to-air missiles at the wing tips. This launch rail is compatible with both the AIM-9 Sidewinder and the AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile). If you look at the photos of the F-16s in action, they usually have AMRAAMs on the wingtip launch rails (stations 1 and 9) and sidewinders on the launchers under the wing next to them (stations 2 and 8). .. It seems unnatural that the big, heavy AMRAAM is at the tip of the wing, and the smaller, lighter sidewinder is under the wing. Then, when a certain overseas media contacted Lockheed Martin, he said that “loading AMRAAM on the wing tip has the effect of suppressing flutter.” I can understand the theory somehow, but I wonder if shooting AMRAAM could cause flutter. Then, when I suddenly remembered and pulled out an aviation magazine about 30 years ago, I heard that “AMRAAM is loaded on the wing tip so as not to interfere with the armament loading work performed under the wing.” What is the interference with the armament mounting work? If you use a dedicated loader for mounting … Sidewinder Air-to-air missiles are small and light (although the total length is about 3 m and the weight is about 85 kg), so several people can carry it. It is installed in. However, the AMRAAM has a total length of about 3.7 m and a weight of about 150 kg, so it cannot be installed manually. Bring a special vehicle (weapon loader) and lift the missile mounted on the arm to the armament rack to mount it. For example, the US Navy uses a weapon loader called the MHU-83D, which is compatible with AV-8B, F / A-18, AH-1W / Z, UH-1Y, and F-35B / C aircraft. In the photo below, the weapon loader is approaching the aircraft from the side. However, when mounting it under the wings, it seems that there are cases where it approaches from the front-back direction. So, let’s consider the scene where a big game such as a bomb or a drop tank is mounted on the wing weapon pylon and AMRAAM is mounted on the launch rail at the wing tip. When a weapon loader is sent from the front and back to mount a bomb or a drop tank under the wing, it is possible to carry out the work of mounting the AMRAAM on the wing tip in parallel. This does not interfere because the weapon loader can be approached from the outside. When loading a sidewinder under the adjacent wing of the wing tip rail, this is human power, so it seems that you can approach from between the two. However, what happens if the positions of the AMRAAM and the sidewinder are reversed? When the weapon loader carrying AMRAAM is approached from the front and back, it interferes with the installation of the bomb and drop tank under the wings that is being carried out next to it. When approaching from the side like the wing tip, it interferes with the work of loading the side winder on the wing tip. If you think about it this way, you can understand that it is rational to load AMRAAM on the wing tip from the viewpoint of improving the efficiency of mounting work. This time we talked about the weapons that fighter jets carry, but this kind of “preventing flow line interference when performing multiple tasks at the same time” is likely to be another problem. For example, when various vehicles are attached to a passenger plane arriving at an airport all at once, it may be a point to keep in mind as well. Author Profile Takashi Inoue A technical writer who is developing writing activities centered on the technical field in various transportation and military fields such as railways and aviation. After working at Microsoft Corporation, became independent in the spring of 1999. In addition to developing information and communication technology as a starting point, such as “Fighting Computer (V) 3” (Ushioshobokojinsha), he deals with articles in various fields. In addition to Mynavi News, he has also contributed to “Military Research,” “Maru,” “Jwings,” “Koku-Fan,” “Ships of the World,” and “Shinkansen EX.”