Weapon System was a United States military designation scheme for experimental weapons (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. 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".
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.":166
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
|Number||Link to Wikipage|
|Project 3:67||TCP for technical intelligence collection systems|
|Program 101, 102 (GOR-170)||Samos (satellite)|
|WS-117L (GOR.80):80–87||Advanced Reconnaissance System (originally Project 1115);:30 recoverable capsule - Pied Piper/Sentry/SAMOS; television transmission - unfeasible;:87 Subsystem G: MiDAS|
|WS-119B (USAF 7795):139||Bold Orion ASAT|
|WS-119L||Project Moby Dick (originally Project Genetrix):31–32|
|Article 121||Lockheed A-12|
|WS-124A||Project Flying Cloud|
|WS-133A (Program 494L)||LGM-30 Minuteman|
|GOR 148||AGM-28 Hound Dog|
|NA-211||interceptor design similar to fighter-bomber design that would become North American F-107|
|NA-212||North American F-107|
|WS-224A||Phase I: BMEWS, Phase II: Wizard missile system|
|WS-306A||Republic F-105 Thunderchief (misidentified as WS-3061)|
|WS315A||PGM-17 Thor missile|
|WS-324A||General Dynamics F-111|
|CL-400:149||Lockheed CL-400 Suntan|
|Program 437 (ADO-40):120||"nonorbital collision course satellite interceptor" using modified Thor|
|Program 437 X (AP)||Alternate payload (AP) for satellite inspection ("a heritage of SAINT"):125|
|Program 437 Y:128||second development plan for Program 437 (later renamed Program 922)|
|Program 505:118||MUDFLAP ASAT|
|MX-544||US copy of V-1 flying bomb (Republic-Ford JB-2 "Loon")|
|D-558||Douglas Skystreak, Skyrocket|
|Project 572||Distant Early Warning Line|
|MX-606||cruise missile precursor to Bomarc|
|Air Force System 609A||Blue Scout|
|Air Force System 621B||GPS|
|DSP-647:99||Defense Support Program|
|MX-771||Navy tactical cruise missile superseded by MX-773|
|MX-774||feasibility designs for subsonic and supersonic surface-to-surface missiles (three WSPG launches July–December 1948) leading to SM-65 Atlas|
|Program 893:128||ICBM ASAT|
|MX-904||GAR-1 Falcon missile|
|Program 922:129||rename of Program 437 Y|
|System 1393||Western Electric RCDC for the Improved Nike Hercules Air Defense Guided Missile System|
|Project MX-1554||1954 Interceptor (Convair's proposed airframe was used for an interim interceptor—F-102A; as well as the 1954 interceptor-- F-102B; Republic's proposed design was used for the separate F-103 project.)|
|MX-1589||nuclear-powered Convair B-36|
|MX-1626 (FZP-110)||initial Convair proposal for eventual Convair B-58 Hustler award|
|MX-1712||Boeing Generalized Bomber Study (GEBO II) proposal]] (competitor against winning Convair MX-1712 design for B-58 Hustler)|
|MX-1964||Convair B-58 Hustler (previously MX-1626)|
^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.
- Donald 2003, pp. 68–69
- Grant Historical Study No. 126 p. 53
- 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.
- Stares, Paul B. "The Militarization of Space". Retrieved 2008-11-24.
- Burroughs, William E. (1988) . Deep Black (paperback ed.). New York: Berkley Publishing Group. ISBN 0-425-10879-1.
- 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.
- Cite NORAD Historical Summary 1958 January–June, p. 106
- "Correspondence: Weapon System" (Flighglobal/Archive). Flight. 6 February 1959. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
- Cooksley, Peter G (1979). Flying Bomb. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. p. 141.
- Preston, Bob (1994). "Plowshares and Power: The Military Use of Civil Space". p. 250.
- Braun, Wernher von; Ordway III, Frederick I; Dooling, David Jr (1985) . Space Travel: A History. New York: Harper & Row. p. 132. ISBN 0-06-181898-4.