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Airborne missile launcher of modular construction

Image Number 5 for United States Patent #4660456.

An airborne missile launcher is provided which is of modular construction to carry a variety of different missiles. A main body section has top attachment points, whereby it is carried by an aircraft, and sub-rail hangers at its underside to receive alternative missile-carrying sub-rails each of which sub-rails has one or more longitudinal tracks for carrying one or more types of missile. The sub-rail may be mounted in telescopically sliding relationship with the main body section. To complete the launcher body, forward and aft body sections are attached to the main body section, each of the forward and aft body sections being selected from a number of different such sections to suit different types of missile. For certain missile types, the forward and aft sections may be simply a plastics fairing; for certain other missile types, the forward and aft section may house a missile umbilical retraction mechanism and other operative means.

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