The Minute Book
Monday, 29 July 2013

The Heller Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher
Topic: Cold War

Canadian Army Journal, Vol. XIV, No. 4, Fall 1960

The Heller Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher was a 3.2 inch calibre rocket launcher. It was developed as a Canadian project to upgrade the original 2.36 inch Bazooka. The projectile rocket was inserted in the rear of the tube, and two wires were uncoiled from the rocket's tail section and connected to terminals to complete an electric firing circuit when the trigger was pulled.

The Heller was replaced by the U.S. 3.5 inch Rocket Launcher, which broke down into two sections and only required the flipping of a lever to engage the power source and projectile. This was eventually replaced in turn by the 84 mm Anti-Tank Gun, the "Carl Gustav."


From a now apparently defunct page published by the Defence Research Establishment Valcartier (DREV):

Heller : An Anti-Tank Rocket

In August 1950, at the height of the Korean War, the Army sought to accelerate the Heller project in order to equip its troops with an anti-tank rocket. The work of the Canadian Army Research and Development Establishment (CARDE) scientists led to the emergence of the first complete weapon, ammunition and fire control system to have been designed, developed and manufactured in Canada. In 1951, the Minister of National Defence, Brooke Claxton, announced a major rearmament program for the Canadian Armed Forces. For him, there was a real threat of general war, and it was imperative that the nation be rearmed as quickly as possible. This meant that most of the effort of CARDE's scientific wings was focussed on the Velvet Glove and Heller projects. In February 1952, Heller reached the engineering test final design stage. In April 1955, in a formal press release, the Department described it as "an anti-tank missile with a unique recoilless propulsion system utilizing a Canadian breakthrough in propulsion engineering and design."


 

These photos and stats are from the Canadian Army Manual of Training Infantry Platoon Weapons Launcher Rocket A-Tk 3.2inch CDN. 1956.

  • Launcher - 54 inches long (137.2cm)
  • Launcher with tripod - 28.5lbs (12.9kg)
  • Rangefinder Sight - 5lbs (2.3kg)
  • HE A tk rocket - penetrate 11 inches of homogeneous armour at 90 degrees and approximately 5 inches at 64 degrees
  • Maximum Range - 2860 yards (2615m)
  • Operating Range - 300 yards (274m)
  • Maximum Effective Range - 450 yards (411m)
  • Maximum Rate of Fire - 5 rounds/minute

In Memoriam

In January 1957, two soldiers of The Royal Canadian Regiment were killed in a training accident involving the Heller anti-tank rocket launcher. Privates J.I. Doucette and F.E. Duff, both of the 2nd Battalion, The RCR, were attached to the Royal Canadian School of Infantry at the rime of the acident. The following memorial notes were published in the regimental journal, The Connecting File, dated Summer, 1957:


 

 


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 5 July 2013 10:23 AM EDT

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