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.
A Lance battery (two fire units) consisted of two M752 launchers (one missile each) and two M688 auxiliary vehicle (two missiles each), 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 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.
- US Army
- 1st Bn, 12th Field Artillery Regiment 1973-1992 Fort Sill
- 1st Bn, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment 1975-1991 Hanau, Germany
- 6th Bn, 33rd Field Artillery Regiment 1975-1987 Reflag as 6th Bn, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment 1987-91 Fort Sill (One Btry was Forward Deployed to South Korea)
- 2nd Bn, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment 1974-1987 Reflag as 4th Bn, 12th Field Artillery Regiment 1987-1991 Crailsheim, Germany
- 3rd Bn, 79th Field Artillery Regiment 1974-1986 Reflag as 2nd Bn, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment 1986-? Giessen, Germany
- 1st Bn, 80th Field Artillery Regiment1974-1987 Reflag as 3rd Bn, 12th Field Artillery Regiment 1987-1991 Aschaffenburg, Germany
- 1st Bn, 333rd Field Artillery Regiment 1973-1986 Reflag as 3rd Bn, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment 1986-? Wiesbaden, Germany
- 2nd Bn, 377th Field Artillery Regiment 1974-1987 Reflag as 2nd Bn, 12th Field Artillery Regiment 1987-1992 Herzogenaurach, Germany
- British Army
- 50th Missile Regiment Royal Artillery
- Netherlands Army
- 129th Artillery Battalion 1979-1992
- Belgium Army
- 3rd Artillery Battalion
- German Army
- 150th Rocket Artillery Battalion
- 250th Rocket Artillery Battalion
- 350th Rocket Artillery Battalion
- 650th Rocket Artillery Battalion
- Sea Lance, a similarly named, but unrelated submarine-launched missile.
- List of military aircraft of the United States
- List of missiles
- Ripley, Tim. The new illustrated guide to the modern US Army. Salamander Books Ltd. pp. 92–93. ISBN 0-86101-671-8.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to MGM-52 Lance.|
- Video of Lance missiles being launched by British Army in 1992 - #1
- Video of British Army Lance launches in 1992 - #2
- Video of British Army Lance launches in 1992 - #3
- Redstone Arsenal History - Lance
- Herzobase.org - Lance Missile base in Germany
- Designation Systems Article
- Brookings Institution photos and data