MGR-1 'Honest John' missile system

The MGR-1 Honest John Short Range Tactical Battlefield Support Missile System first entered US service in 1953. It was a primitive and clumsy artillery rocket which was aimed by moving its launcher vehicle and altering the elevation of the launch rail. An improved version the MGR-1B entered service in 1960; this system was phased out by the introduction of the MGM-52 Lance system. It saw service in several NATO countries including Greece, UK, France, Italy and Turkey as well as with South Korea and Japan.

The missile reaches speeds of Mach 1.5 and is unguided powered by solid propellant, the warheads were either a 680kg (1,500lb) high explosive (HE) or a  5/25 kiloton nuclear warhead although the wisdom of arming such a primitive and inaccurate weapon with even a small nuclear device is questionable.  A cluster warhead system was sold to South Korea in 1977 but most countries had phased out this weapon by the 1980s.  Its launch vehicle is normally a 6 wheeled truck.

Length: 7.57m (24ft 10 in).
Weight: 2136kg (4,710lbs)
Range: 7.2km (4.5miles) minimum. 37km (23miles) maximum.
CEP: 830mm (910 yds)

How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, T. (3 May 2008), MGR-1 ‘Honest John’ missile system,

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