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MGM-52 Lance: Wikis


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MGM-52 Lance
MGM-52 Lance.jpg
MGM-52 Lance missile on display at White Sands Missile Range Museum, New Mexico, next to M752 Self-Propelled Launcher.
Type Short-range ballistic missile
Service history
In service 1972–1992
Production history
Manufacturer LTV
Weight 2,850 lbs
Length 20 ft
Diameter 22 in

Warhead 1 W-70 nuclear
Blast yield 1-100 kt

Engine Liquid-propellant rocket
Speed >Mach 3

The MGM-52 Lance was a mobile field artillery tactical surface-to-surface missile (SRBM) system used to provide both nuclear and conventional fire support to the United States Army.



The first Lance missiles were deployed in 1972, replacing the less reliable Sergeant SRBM.

A Lance battery (two fire units) consisted of two M752 launchers (one missile each) and two M688 auxiliary vehicles (two missiles each), for a total six missiles. The firing rate per unit was approximately three missiles per hour.


The Payload consisted either of a W70 nuclear warhead with a yield of 1-100kt or a variety of conventional munitions. Cluster bombs for use against SAM-Sites, heat seeking Anti-Tank Cluster Munitions or a single conventional shape charged warhead for penetrating hard targets.


With the signing of the INF Treaty in 1987, the United States Army began withdrawing Lance missiles from Europe. By 1992, all United States Army Lance warheads were in storage awaiting destruction.


In 1973, the Lance replaced the MGR-1 Honest John system and the MGM-29 Sergeant. It was deactivated in 1992. Following its deactivation, surplus rockets were retained to be used as targets for anti-missile systems.

The Lance used the W70 nuclear warhead. The W70-3 version was one of the first warheads to be battlefield-ready with an "enhanced radiation" (neutron bomb) capability.

The original design envisaged a chemical weapon warhead option, but this development was cancelled in 1970.

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