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Project (HARP) 1962 Space Gun.

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posted on Sep, 6 2003 @ 11:10 PM
In 1962 a (16") Space Gun was installed on the island of barbados.

It's ultimate aim was to shoot satellite payloads into orbit around the earth.

The desighner Gerald Bull was later killed by Israeli secret service agents, while working on a doomsday gun for Iraq known as the Babylon gun.

In mid-1965 the HARP project was in full swing and the big 16-inch gun on Barbados was making regular firings. 5-inch and 7-inch HARP guns were conducting launches in places as diverse as Alaska, Wallops Island Virginia, Highwater, Quebec and Barbados. Progress on all technical programs was advancing significantly, despite funding problems. Volumes of scientific data were being collected from all aspects of the program.

The new Highwater site was also progressing by leaps and bounds. The expansive 2000-acre site was becoming a major operational centre for HARP with small gun firings occurring regularly. Throughout the year plans for installing a new 16-inch gun in Highwater were progressing smoothly. By November the gun was in place and test firings commenced soon after. This gun only fired horizontally with vehicles impacting into a mineshaft dug into a hill on the far side of the valley some 1000 meters down range. The Highwater gun was primarily used to test the performance of vehicles inside of the gun and in free flight during the critical muzzle exit and sabot separation phases.

The 16-inch Highwater gun was soon extended in a similar manner to the Barbados gun although instead of massive weldments to maintain alignment it used a series of steel supports, looking somewhat like a suspension bridge, were used to hold the barrel at its relatively low angles. Later this gun would be given a third extension stretching it out to L126 calibres, or an incredible 176 feet long! The Highwater gun still holds the record as the longest big bore artillery piece in the world

The Full Story Here:

[Edited on 7-9-2003 by quaneeri]

posted on Sep, 6 2003 @ 11:14 PM
The "Babylon gun" was not a doomsday weapon. I have seen photos of it. All it really was a long tube that could fire 120mm size rounds a few hundred miles. It also could not be moved, alot like the Paris gun.

posted on Sep, 6 2003 @ 11:16 PM
That space gun was actually a few battleship guns put toghther.

posted on Sep, 6 2003 @ 11:36 PM

Yes i posted a pic of the Babylon Gun in my original Post.

Your correct it was not a Doomsday gun as such.

But, it was seen as a threat to Iraq's neighbours had it ever been completed.


The Babylon Gun - a massive 1000 mm bore, 156 meter long, satellite launching gun - was seen as a threat by Iraq's neighbours (despite the fact that its sheer size would have made it ineffective as a weapon and easily disabled). Gerry Bull was targeted for assassination after he refused to be swayed by threats. On the evening March 22, 1990, at the age of 62, as Bull approached his apartment door in Brussels, he was shot six times in the back of the head. The assassin was reported to be Israeli military, although the case was never solved. Gerry Bulls last Supergun was cut up and scrapped by the UN at the conclusion of the Iraq/Kuwait war. It was never assembled or fired.

The Paris Gun Story i also find Interesting. !

posted on Sep, 6 2003 @ 11:43 PM
Here are some images of the original 1962 Space gun as it looks today.

It is now laying down on it's side in a state of disrepair.

posted on Sep, 6 2003 @ 11:45 PM
Pretty sad. It could of been a great weapon and space vehicle launcher.

posted on Sep, 6 2003 @ 11:54 PM
Yeh i agree jettsetter.

The gov pulled the rug out from under gerald bull.

His ideas were way ahead of there times, I beleive he is the man responsibly for the twisted bore desighn that makes a projectile spin in the barrel of a gun.

posted on Sep, 6 2003 @ 11:58 PM
Yeah, that "Iraqi super gun" pic that you posted was only a scaled-down test model, actual "Super gun(s)" were never build as the parts were "captured" by Britts i belive.

[Edited on 7-9-2003 by FULCRUM]

posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 12:30 AM

Yes That's right, (8) British-made steel pipes,part of the gun barrel, were seized by British Customs on their way to Iraq. Other Supergun components were soon discovered throughout Europe, including the breach-block in Italy and recoil mechanisms in West Germany and Switzerland.

In britain the (arms-to-Iraq) inquiry was called in after directors of the Coventry-based Matrix Churchill firm were prosecuted for selling machine tools to Iraq which could be used to make weapons.

posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 12:41 AM

Originally posted by quaneeri

Yes That's right, (8) British-made steel pipes,part of the gun barrel, were seized by British Customs on their way to Iraq. Other Supergun components were soon discovered throughout Europe, including the breach-block in Italy and recoil mechanisms in West Germany and Switzerland.

In britain the (arms-to-Iraq) inquiry was called in after directors of the Coventry-based Matrix Churchill firm were prosecuted for selling machine tools to Iraq which could be used to make weapons.

Well, i know my facts well..

It is really a shame that they didnt build it, as there would be more talk about this subject if the Iraqis had actually build the gun or even used it.. now this is just a another sad failure..

posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 01:58 PM
Here are some smaller versions of the HARP gun.

When most people think of the HARP Program they usually think of the big 16 inch guns roaring skywards as they launch test probes into the upper atmosphere.




(Super High Altitude Research Project) light gas gun was developed by Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California. The L-shaped gun consisted of the 82 m long, 36 cm calibre pump tube and the 47 m long, 10 cm calibre gun.

[Edited on 7-9-2003 by quaneeri]

posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 02:02 PM
Are you sure that those first two pics are of american guns. They look like early german big guns.

posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 03:14 PM

Originally posted by jetsetter
Are you sure that those first two pics are of american guns. They look like early german big guns.


Here is the page check it out to clarify it.

I can only go by what is provided. ?

posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 03:16 PM
OK, I wonder if they are right? What do you think?

posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 03:20 PM
I must admit they do look like german guns.

But i am not an expert on the subject.

posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 03:22 PM
I think german guns because of the support stucture that is supporting the barrel looks like a german supporting structure.

posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 03:30 PM
On the surface of it, the Babylon gun would have been of dubious military value, for the reasons already pointed out in this thread.

Although 120mm (although I have heard that it could have gone as large at 400mm) would allow a rather large payload, it would still be restricted to a few hundred miles, and most importantly, being non-mobile, would have been a very easy target for airstrikes, after counter-battery radar tracked the shell trajectory back to point of origin. In all reality, if it was built and fired in aggression, likely only 1 round would get in the air, and the enemy, if properly equipped, would detect it, and likely have a retaliatory strike airborne before the shell hit its target.

However, when you dig a bit deeper, you have some interesting things to look at:

First of all, even the smalled bore diameter mentioned, 120mm, would allow the deployment of a small tactical nuclear warhead, of between 10 and 50 kiloton yield. Also the use of a RAP (Rocket Assisted Projectile) shell would effectively extend the range to over 1000 miles. This would extend the range to cover Israel (well, who was it that killed the designer? Guess THEY considered it a threat...), as well as the entire mid-eastern region.

The biggest threat from the Babylon gun, however, was that once the shell was on its way, it could not be stopped. Essentially, if put into operation, it would only be useful for one round, but if fired, that one round was a guaranteed penetration, possibly with a nuclear warhead (now see why Israel was worried?)

And before anyone brings it up, yes, the British Sea Cat AA missle DID intercept a 5" naval artillery shell in flight.... however, it DID NOT stop the shell... Also, the recent tests with the HEL laser taking down a 155mm shell in mid flight was impressive, but who has an HEL laser operationally deployed in the area?

I could see it, if built, being a decisive nuclear deterrent, or a first strike weapon.

posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 11:09 PM
There were a series of tests on the big guns done in 1963

Image: (Gerald Bull)

In January the HARP team was back at Barbados and ready for their first test flights. An initial test series 12 launches was scheduled. It was hoped to break the current gun-launched altitude record of 70 km, set two years earlier by BRL. As with many start-up operations this first test series was plagued by equipment problems. These included a leaking recoil mechanism, which delayed the first flight by some six hours.

On the twentieth of January 1963 the big gun roared for the first time as it fired its first test shot into the clear blue sky. This was the first time in history that a gun of this calibre had been fired at an angle of near vertical. From a cloud of flames and smoke a 315 kg test slug was hurtled into the air. With a launch velocity of 1000 m/s and a flight time of about 58 seconds the wooden slug rose to an altitude of 3000 meters before coming down a kilometre off shore.

On 21 January the first Martlet 1 was launched. It flew for 145 seconds and achieved an altitude of 26 km. On 23 January a second test slug was flown. On 1 February a second Martlet 1 reached an altitude of 27 km. This was the first flight of a Martlet with a radio transmitter beacon that allowed the vehicle to be tracked throughout the flight. With these four successful flights the first test series ended.

The next series of test flights was conducted in early April using the new Martlet 2. The Martlet 2 vehicles performed well and upper atmospheric research with the 16-inch gun began. By the end of June a new worlds gun-launched altitude record of 92 km had been set with a Martlet 2 by the big 16-inch Barbados gun.

1963 also saw the development of the first gun-launched rockets. The Martlet 3A program began in the spring of 1963. Test firings commenced in September with launches proceeding to the end of the year.

posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 06:50 PM
You're all a bit over the top about the "doomsday gun". There are a few things that you've missed...

Firstly, it's not named the "Babylon gun". It's the Supergun. The project that built it was named the Babylon Project, headed, as you've said, by Gerald Bull.

Unfortunately, the Supergun was in no way a military threat: it was designed to loft satellites into space. Bull had managed to convince Iraq that it would never become a real power without spacefaring capabilities.

It is true that if a rocket were put into the gun (something entirely impractical) it could reach Israel. However, a point not covered is that the gun was not POINTED toward Israel. And since the gun was entirely immobile, it had no capacity to point toward Israel. Not only that, but actual rounds fired by the gun at that steep angle would not return to Earth - they would go into space, as Bull intended.

It is speculated that Israel killed him (if they killed him at all) for his cooperation with Iraqi missile programs. Hussein agreed to fund the Supergun on the condition that he help whip their missile arsenal into shape, something that Israel DID worry about. He helped streamline the nosecone design, which was apparently going too far in Israel's eyes.

I realize that this is a cold post, but I think that future passers-by like me ought to know about the Supergun.


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