US ''Ping Pong'' Rocket

  • Missiles And Rockets Of War
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Much as the Table Tennis Game known as ''Ping Pong'' – in which two players using paddles hit a small plastic ball back and forth over a table board, The aptly named Rocket – ''Ping Pong'' was a short-lived Program created in 1964. It's goal was to provide a means for Battlefield Commanders to have photo surveillance of Enemy positions in ''real time'' – when reconnaissance aircraft were unavailable to to pressing resources or poor weather conditions. The Rocket was designed to be operated by Army Crews (of which Missile Command was still a part of) – directly from front line positions. The Rocket was 6-feet long and weighed several hundred pounds. Deployed as a small Surface to Air Missile, The ''Ping Pong'' was fitted with cameras in it's nose cone. The device was radar/electronically controlled from the ground. It theory the Rocket was launched from the ground and flew over an Enemy position. After capturing photographic material, it was ''flown'' back to a prearranged landing location – of which the nose cone was separated from the Rocket. Once recovered and processed, a Field Commander would have photographic materials of Enemy fortifications and troop movements. Although testing was partially successful, ''Ping Pong'' suffered from damage to the nose cone during separation sequences. This plus the overall coat of the Project – ceased it's further developments by 1966.