Fast Tactical Airlift of Chaparral Air Defense Systems
The MIM-72A/M48 Chaparral was a U.S Army self-propelled surface-to-air missile system using the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile. Its tracked carrier was based on the M113 series of vehicles. It entered service with the United States Army in 1969 and was phased out between 1990 and 1998. It was intended to be part of a rapid deployment combined arms team including Tanks, APCs, dune buggies, mobile artillery and close support aircraft. This training film shows how to detach the M54 Launching Station from the M730 carrier for rapid transport airlift by a Boeing Ch-47 Chinook Helicopter to an advanced position. This allows the fully functional missile launching platform to leapfrog ahead of the tracked vehicles for rapid deployment, especially in an emergency situation where air defense was needed immediately. This was especially useful in rugged terrain. The Launcher was capable of 360 degrees traverse and +90/-9 degrees elevation. Four Sidewinders were carried on launch rails, with eight extras stored below the launcher with their fins and wings removed. The gunner sat between the missiles, aiming with a reflex sight. Since the missiles were infrared heat seeking, radar wasn't necessary. An auxiliary power unit supplied power to the mount & a cryonic air cooler cooled the missile heat seekers. Before pickup, the Launching Station was removed from the M730 carrier using a crane and placed on a platform with adjustable legs to serve as a base mount for when the helicopter lowered it into it's new position. The crew was airlifted ahead to be ready to set up the system when it was delivered. As this is a U.S. Army training film for a complex system, every step is covered in detail. Not always the most exciting viewing, but a gearhead's delight! I digitally restored the color which had shifted over time.