MGM-13A “Mace”

BY MARTIN

Like its predecessor, the Matador, the Mace was a tactical surface-launched missile designed to destroy ground targets.  It was first designated the TM-76 and later as the MGM-13.  It was first launched from a mobile trailer or from bomb-proof shelter by a solid-fuel rocket booster which dropped away after launch; a J33 jet engine then powered the missile to the target.  Development of the Mace began in 1954 and the first test firing occurred in 1956.

The Mace was developed in two versions, the A and the B.  The A employed a terrain-matching radar guidance system known as ATRAN (automatic terrain recognition and navigation), in which the return from a radar scanning antenna was matched with a series of radar terrain “maps” carried on board the missile, and which corrected the missile flight path if it deviated from the film map.  The B used a jam-proof inertial guidance system; it had a range twice that of the A.

Mace A missiles were first deployed to USAF forces in Europe in the spring of 1959. These remained in service until the mid-1960s when some were used as target drones because their size and performance characteristics resembled those of a manned aircraft. Development of the B missiles began in 1964 and these remained operational in Europe and the Pacific until the early 1970s.

Warner Robins Air Logistics Center was responsible for the logistics and program support for all Mace missiles.  The Mace on display was delivered to the USAF in February 1960 and assigned to the Lowry Technical Training Center at Lowry AFB, Colorado.  It was retired in June 1962.  The City of Warner Robins has displayed it in a local park since 1967 until the Museum acquired it in 1984.

SPECIFICATIONS:
Span: 22 ft. 11 in.
Length: 44 ft. 6 in.
Height: 9 ft. 7 in.
Weight: 18,000 lbs. at launch
Armament: Conventional or nuclear warhead
Engine: Allison J33 at 5,200 lbs. thrust; Thiokol solid propellant booster rocket of 100,000 lbs. thrust
Cost: $452,000
Serial number: 58-1465

PERFORMANCE:
Maximum speed: 650 mph.
Cruising speed: 565 mph. in level flight, supersonic in final dive
Range: 1,400 miles
Operating altitude: From under 1,000 feet to 40,000 ft.