Monday, September 10, 2012

Copperhead’s “Venom” Was Deadly

I was awarded the Jefferson Cup in 1977 for work on its guidance electronics
by Francis C.

I arrived at Martin Marietta (Glen L. Martin Company) in 1955 at the Baltimore, Maryland, plant. I have had many rewarding design experiences. The following is the most memorable and challenging.

The customer was the Army in the early to mid-1970s. I derived the unique electronic packaging design solution that made it possible for a full complement of delicate, non-encapsulated guidance electronics to survive the mammoth force of 9,000 g's experienced during the cannon launch of the laser-guided Copperhead shaped charge warhead, anti-armor tank-killer projectile. The electronics drastically reduced the Copperhead production cost by $65,000,000 on the first production order. For this achievement, I was one of five Martin Marietta employees throughout the Corporation to be awarded the Jefferson Cup in Washington, D.C., in 1977.