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11
Sgt.York

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Jonathan Bernstein shares with us a large number of images of the Sgt.York under his care at the US Army Air Defense Artillery Museum at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. I am sure Jon would love to hear from Armorama members who get a chance to visit.
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About the Author

About Jon Bernstein (Cobrahistorian)
FROM: OKLAHOMA, UNITED STATES

Former AH-64 pilot and current Director of the US Army Air Defense Artillery Museum at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma


Comments

Total. However, that being said, it's a rather cool looking piece of equipment and many of us are captivated by the idea of "what if the words 'off the shelf' hadn't been in the contract guidelines?" There were a few significant issues with the York. Firstly, there was no manual mode. The radar locked on to what it thought was a target and the crew got a "Y/N" option to engage. Not great, but the real issue was that it was forced to use an air intercept radar from an F-16 instead of a ground-based air search radar. An F-16 radar is great at 20,000ft, but at 2 ft, it's too sensitive and thinks things like soda cans and porta-potties are targets. That, coupled with a few tests where the targets were missed and had to be command detonated for safety reasons, and an enterprising young investigative journalist by the name of Geraldo Rivera had a field with the story. Completely mis-interpreting command detonations of targets as the Army faking test results, Rivera did an expose on the York, which was the last straw. There was a congressional invstigation and the program was killed after 53 vehicles were produced and fielded to one test battalion. Of those 53 vehicles, many have been used as targets, but there are a handful left.
SEP 23, 2013 - 11:35 PM
Though my opinion was biased at the time, it was shared by many at GD that their version was superior to the FA. The GD used a radar system based on Phalanx and had an advantage in dealing with low altitude targets. I recall most of the team returning from evals confident that they were winning. It was thought at the time that GD didnt get the contract because they already had a big share of defense contracts with Electric Boat building subs and Dallas building F-16s (and Pomona was supplying Phalanx, Stinger, Sparrow, and Standard at the time).
SEP 24, 2013 - 04:26 AM
For anyone wondering, here's a shot of the XM246 that competed against the York.
SEP 24, 2013 - 06:15 AM
Thanks for posting that picture! During my employment at GD, the company artist was a family friend and I acquired a lot of copies of artwork showing the 246 in action: shooting down Hinds, loading ammunition from a German truck (one of the features of the GD design was that it used the same guns as Gepard and the ammo transfer systems were compatible), cut-aways, etc. Also had a lot of photos that I took when they would park it outdoors at our facility as well as many company photos. Lost it all during one of my moves. So do you know what happened to the XM246 protos??
SEP 24, 2013 - 08:10 AM
If they still exist, I'll find one! I'm on the hunt now.
SEP 24, 2013 - 09:43 AM
Yes, if what I read in The World's Worst Weapons is accurate. But then, they also make models of the Soviet KV-2 tank and Soviet mine dogs, both of which were also unsuccessful. Also, Tamiya did make an M60A2 model, another failed military project.
SEP 24, 2013 - 02:27 PM
You all may find this page interesting. http://www.massimocorner.com/afv/Surviving_M247.pdf Erik
SEP 24, 2013 - 06:10 PM
Thanks for posting that Erik! The T249 is no longer at Aberdeen, I've got that one too.
SEP 24, 2013 - 11:28 PM
There is/was one SGT York at the Naval Air Station at Pt Mugu, CA, hidden by some contractor-style outbuildings.
NOV 26, 2013 - 08:27 AM
I don't remember seeing a York at Point Mugu when I was there last September, but I wasn't looking for any anti-air either.
DEC 28, 2013 - 09:48 PM