Rocket Force, Army

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rocket Force, Army


an arm of the ground troops in the armed forces of the USSR, designated to perform missions in general combat and operations using missile weaponry. An equivalent arm, called the missile force, was formed in the armed forces of the USSR, the United States, Great Britain, France, and China in the 1950’s and 1960’s with the development and adoption of nuclear missiles.

In the USSR, at the same time the strategic rocket force was formed, the missile units of the ground troops became a separate combat arm.

The army rocket force consists of units of all sizes. They are divided into large and small operational-tactical units and small tactical units, depending on the performance characteristics of their missiles. The armament of the army rocket force includes ballistic missiles. The launchers and other equipment necessary to launch missiles are mounted on track-laying and wheeled frames, trailers, and semitrailers. This enables the rocket force to make the necessary maneuvers on the terrain quickly.

The chief characteristic of the army rocket force is the ability to strike at great range and destroy enemy targets quickly. The army rocket force is capable of destroying enemy nuclear weapons, striking the main grouping of enemy forces at full operational depth, and destroying command posts, troop control centers, matériel, communication centers, and other important objects in the operational rear. In coastal sectors, the army rocket force can strike at naval groupings, landing parties, and naval bases.

In the US armed forces there are detached battalions of Sergeant and Lance guided tactical missiles, with four to six launchers in each battalion, and detached brigades of Pershing missiles, with three battalions and 36 launchers in each. They are designed to support army corps. Armored, mechanized, and infantry divisions also have battalions of Honest John unguided tactical missiles. Each such battalion has four launchers designed to hit important objects in the tactical zone at ranges of 9–40 km.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.