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MGM-52 Lance

Template:Infobox Weapon

The MGM-52 Lance was a mobile field artillery tactical surface-to-surface missile (tactical ballistic missile) system used to provide both nuclear and conventional fire support to the United States Army. The missile's warhead was developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It was replaced by MGM-140 ATACMS.


The first Lance missiles were deployed in 1972, replacing (together with the US-Navy's nuclear-tipped RIM-2D & RIM-8E/B/D) the earlier Honest John rocket and Sergeant SRBM ballistic missile, greatly reducing the weight and bulk of the system, while improving both accuracy and mobility.[1]

A Lance battery (two fire units) consisted of two M752 launchers (one missile each) and two M688 auxiliary vehicle (two missiles each),[1] for a total six missiles. The firing rate per unit was approximately three missiles per hour.


The payload consisted either of a W70 nuclear warhead with a yield of 1-100 kt or a variety of conventional munitions. The W70-3 nuclear warhead version was one of the first warheads to be battlefield-ready with an "enhanced radiation" (neutron bomb) capability. Conventional munitions included cluster bombs for use against SAM-Sites, heat seeking Anti-Tank Cluster munitions[citation needed] or a single unitary conventional shape-charged warhead for penetrating hard targets and for bunker busting. The original design considered a chemical weapon warhead option, but this development was cancelled in 1970.


With the signing of the INF Treaty in 1987, the United States Army began withdrawing Lance missiles from Europe. By 1992, all United States Army Lance warheads were in storage awaiting destruction. Following its deactivation, surplus rockets were retained to be used as targets for anti-missile systems.


23x15px United States

23x15px United Kingdom

Template:Country data Israel

23x15px Netherlands

23x15px Belgium

23x15px Italy

23x15px Germany

  • German Army
    • 150th Rocket Artillery Battalion
    • 250th Rocket Artillery Battalion
    • 350th Rocket Artillery Battalion
    • 650th Rocket Artillery Battalion

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ripley, Tim. The new illustrated guide to the modern US Army. Salamander Books Ltd. pp. 92–93. ISBN 0-86101-671-8. 

External links