Originally Posted by Eddyxz
Hello everybody, I want to talk here about solid propellant rocket motors (propelling missiles or space vectors) using pintle nozzles to control thrust.
The concept is quite simple: they partially occlude the throat area of the nozzle, with an axial movement of the pintle, gaining thrust because of the increment in combustion chamber's pressure and the consequent increment in burning ratio. In order to decrease thrust, the pintle moves backwards and the throat area is cleared.
This technology is very useful for making tactical missiles more flexible and agile, in fact with a control on thrust it is possible to hit a nearby target very rapidly, increase range by decreasing thrust and vary the turning radius in steerings; it is also used in space vectors and in landing modules for more precise landings.
Up to now I've been able to find just two rockets with pintle nozzles: the NLOS-LS PAM (Non-Line Of Sight Launch System Precision Attack Missile) and the Orion's LAS (Launch Abort System) and I'd like to know more rocket motors provided with this technology, their manufacturers and their specifications.
Thank you for answers.
The use of pintle nozzles, by themselves, for tactical battlefield missiles is not as effective (in theory) as using thrust vector control, or TVC. Together they can increase agility of missiles and target accuracy. TVC is used on jet aircraft like the F-22 Raptor for rapid attitude changes. Pintle nozzles with TVC can do the same for missiles as you pointed out.
TVC in one form or another has been used on ICBM's for some time, although using different technologies to achieve thrust vector control. Minuteman II used fluid dynamics to accomplish this. The Trident series of SLBM's use TVC as well, though using different technology.
Very probably pintle nozzles, TVC, a combination thereof... or some more exotic thrust vectoring solution is behind Russia's most recent claims of anti-ICBM missile avoidance claims for their nuclear warheads.
The NLOS LC-PAM system was defunded in mid-2010 for cost overuns and a number of technical problems.
Adapting pintle nozzles with TVC could be useful in battlefield ballilstic missiles like Russia's Iskander and similar missiles fielded by other countries.
I don't know offhand if US tactical nuclear missiles (like the Patton) used some form of thrust vector control, but they well might have.