Learn more about the 2.75" Folding Fin Aerial Rocket (FFAR)
FFARs were the primary armament of many USAF interceptor aircraft in the early 1950s, including the F-86D, F-89, and F-94C. They were also carried by the F-102 Delta Dagger to supplement its guided missile armament.
The Mighty Mouse ultimately proved to be a poor aerial weapon. Although it was powerful enough to destroy a bomber with a single hit, its accuracy was abysmal. Its spin rate was not high enough to compensate for the effects of wind and gravity drop, and the rockets dispersed widely on launch: a volley of 24 rockets would cover an area the size of a football field.
As a result, by the late 1950s it had been largely abandoned as an aircraft weapon in favor of the guided air-to-air missiles then becoming available. The Mk 4 found other uses, however, as an air-to-ground weapon, particularly for the new breed of armed helicopter. A volley of FFARs was as devastating as a heavy cannon with far less weight and recoil, and in the ground-attack role its marginal long-range accuracy was less important. It was fitted with a more powerful motor to become the Mk 40. The Mk 40 was a universal motor developed from the Mk 4 2.75 FFAR, and could be fitted with different warheads depending on the mission. Pods (typically carrying seven or 19 rockets) were created for various applications, and a wide variety of specialized warheads were developed for anti-personnel, anti-tank, and target-marking use. The FFAR has been developed into the modern Hydra 70 series, which is still in service.
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