Weapon System is a United States military term that designated, along with a weapon system number (e.g., WS-110), military experimental (MX)[1] weapons prior to official naming (e.g., under a military aircraft designation system. Preceded by the first Skunk Works program (MX-813 for the Convair XF-92 in 1946),[2]:76 the earliest[verification needed] "WS" designation was the 1954 WS-117L.[3]:22 Circa February 1950, an Air Research and Development Command "study prepared by Maj Gen Gordon P. Saville ... recommended that a 'systems approach' to new weapons be adopted [whereby] development of a weapon "system" required development of support equipment as well as the actual hardware itself."[2]:166

The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger in November 1949 was decided by the USAF to be built around a fire-control system[4]--"the real beginning of the weapon system approach [and the] aircraft would be integrated into the weapon system "as a whole from the beginning, so the characteristics of each component were compatible with the others.".[5]

US weapon programs often were initiated by numbered government specifications such as an Advanced Development Objective (e.g., ADO-40) or a General Operational Requirement (e.g., GOR.80), although some programs were initially identified by contractor numbers (e.g., CL-282).1

List of numbered programs for US military systems
Number Link to Wikipage
Project 3[6]:67 TCP for technical intelligence collection systems
Program 101, 102 (GOR-170)[2] Samos (satellite)
WS-104A SM-64 Navaho
WS-107A SM-65 Atlas
WS-110 XB-70 Valkyrie
WS-117L (GOR.80)[6]:80–87 Advanced Reconnaissance System (originally Project 1115);[3]:30 recoverable capsule - Pied Piper/Sentry/SAMOS; television transmission - unfeasible;:87 Subsystem G: MiDAS
WS-119B (USAF 7795)[6]:139 Bold Orion ASAT
WS-119L Project Moby Dick (originally Project Genetrix)[3]:31–32
Article 121 Lockheed A-12
WS-124A Project Flying Cloud[7]
WS-125 (B-72)
WS-133A (Program 494L) LGM-30 Minuteman
GOR 148 AGM-28 Hound Dog
WS-199 Anti-satellite weapon
WS-199B Bold Orion
WS-199C High Virgo
WS-199D Alpha Draco
WS-201A 1954 interceptor
NA-211 interceptor design similar to fighter-bomber design that would become North American F-107
NA-212 North American F-107
WS-224A Phase I: BMEWS, Phase II: Wizard missile system[8]
CL-282[6]:71 Lockheed U-2
WS-306A Republic F-105 Thunderchief (misidentified as WS-3061)
WS315A PGM-17 Thor missile[9]
MX-324 Northrop XP-79
WS-324A General Dynamics F-111
CL-400[6]:149 Lockheed CL-400 Suntan
Program 437 (ADO-40)[3]:120 "nonorbital collision course satellite interceptor" using modified Thor
Program 437 X (AP) Alternate payload (AP) for satellite inspection ("a heritage of SAINT")[3]:125
Program 437 Y[3]:128 second development plan for Program 437 (later renamed Program 922)
Program 505[3]:118 MUDFLAP ASAT
MX-544[10] US copy of V-1 flying bomb (Republic-Ford JB-2 "Loon")
D-558 Douglas Skystreak, Skyrocket
Project 572 Distant Early Warning Line
MX-606 cruise missile precursor to Bomarc
Air Force System 609A Blue Scout
Air Force System 621B[11] GPS
DSP-647[6]:99 Defense Support Program
MX-653[3] Bell X-1
MX-770 SM-64 Navaho
MX-771 Navy tactical cruise missile superseded by MX-773
MX-773 SSM-N-8 Regulus
MX-774 feasibility designs for subsonic and supersonic surface-to-surface missiles (three WSPG launches July–December 1948)[12] leading to SM-65 Atlas
MX-776A RTV-A-4 Shrike
MX-813 Convair XF-92
Program 893[3]:128 ICBM ASAT
MX-904 GAR-1 Falcon missile
Program 922[3]:129 rename of Program 437 Y
System 1393 Western Electric RCDC for the Improved Nike Hercules Air Defense Guided Missile System
Project MX-1554 1954 Interceptor (Convair's proposed airframe was used for an interim interceptor—F-102A; as well as the 1954 interceptor-- F-102B; Republic's proposed design was used for the separate F-103 project.)
MX-1589 nuclear-powered Convair B-36
MX-1626 (FZP-110) initial Convair proposal for eventual Convair B-58 Hustler award
MX-1712 Boeing Generalized Bomber Study (GEBO II) proposal]] (competitor against winning Convair MX-1712 design for B-58 Hustler)
MX-1599 CIM-10 Bomarc
MX-1964 Convair B-58 Hustler (previously MX-1626)
MX-1965 Boeing XB-59


^1 When a government program number is not available, a contractor number (if available) is used in the table, e.g., Lockheed CL-282 for the U-2.

  1. ^ http://www.acronymfinder.com/Military-and-Government/MX.html
  2. ^ a b Daso, Dik (Major, USAF) (September 1997). Architects of American Air Supremacy: General Hap Arnold and Dr Theodore von Kármán. Air University Press. pp. 76,166. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Stares, Paul B. "The Militarization of Space". Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  4. ^ Donald 2003, pp. 68–69
  5. ^ Grant Historical Study No. 126 p. 53
  6. ^ a b c d e f Burroughs, William E. (1988) [1986]. Deep Black (paperback ed.). New York: Berkley Publishing Group. ISBN 0-425-10879-1. 
  7. ^ Parsch, Andreas (21 March 2006). "WS-124A Flying Cloud". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles. Designation-Systems. Retrieved 2017-12-10. 
  8. ^ Cite NORAD Historical Summary 1958 January–June, p. 106
  9. ^ "Correspondence: Weapon System" (Flighglobal/Archive). Flight. 6 February 1959. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  10. ^ Cooksley, Peter G (1979). Flying Bomb. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. p. 141. 
  11. ^ Preston, Bob (1994). "Plowshares and Power: The Military Use of Civil Space". p. 250. 
  12. ^ Braun, Wernher von; Ordway III, Frederick I; Dooling, David Jr (1985) [1975]. Space Travel: A History. New York: Harper & Row. p. 132. ISBN 0-06-181898-4.