|Transcription||Firestone to make missiles / Contract value not disclosed /
By JOSEPH E. KUEBLER /
Business and Industrial Writer /
One of America's fantastic new weapons in this atomic age, the "Corporal E" a surface-guided missile, will be made by Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.
A terse announcement merely disclosing that Firestone has received a "large order" for production of these devices was issued Saturday by Chairman Harvey S. Firestone Jr.
There was no mention as to where the weapons will be manufactured or the dollar value of the contract. Company executives explained the highly secret character of the project prohibited them from making further comment.
Designed for use against massed enemy troops or other battlefield targets, the missile was unveiled
by the Army only a few days ago.
ITS EXISTENCE was revealed at about the same time the Air Force told of its new development, the "Matador." This is a one-way pilotless plane that has to be launched from a platform. Once it is in the air, the ship zooms to its target under its own jet power.
It is understood the government is going into mass production of both weapons while services prepare to train thousands of men to fire them.
Supporting the belief that mass production of the missile has been ordered was the awarding of the contract to Firestone, a project obviously running into the millions of dollars.
Douglas Aircraft Co. built the first of this new type of missile for the test at White Sands, N. M. proving grounds.
THERE HAS been no performance data issued by the Army on the Corporal E but that has not put a damper on speculation. In fact one national publication, much to the annoyance of military brass, has estimated the "E" can carry an atomic warhead about 100 miles at a speed of 3,000 miles an hour.
The Matador, it is believed, also can carry an atomic warhead at transonic speed and pin-point a target several hundred miles away.
Recent statements by high government officials that the military has invented "stupendous" weapons---weapons "terrible beyond imagination" has only stimulated speculation.
FROM photographs released by the Army, the Corporal E appears to be a thin rocket with a needlelike nose and stubby fins at the base to keep it stable. Developed by Army Ordnance, the weapon looks to be three to four feet in diameter and from 50 to 70 feet long.
In its photograph caption, the Army refers to it as a "research instrument." It is the fourth missile of the series of different types developed under Army supervision.
The Army's only other comment was that the "E" is a companion development of the "Nike" the first guided missile of any type designed and built wholly in the United States.
AS A SURFACE guided missile, the "E" is launched from the surface to hit surface targets. It takes off straight upward from a launching platform.
The missile becomes the most distinguished member of Firestone's "family" of weapons which already includes 90-mm. cannons for tanks, two sizes of recoilless rifles and 3-inch anti-aircraft guns for the Navy.
(Photo is missing) |