Registered: June 2006
Location: London Ontario Canada
Combat procedureThe Fritz-X and the Henschel Hs 293 were steered by an operator in the launching aircraft. The steering signals were communicated over a radio link between the aircraft's Kehl transmitter and the weapon's Straßburg receiver. The crewman who guided the bomb had to be able to see the target at all times, and the bomb had a flare in the tail so it could be seen from the controlling aircraft. The disadvantage with this — in comparison to self contained glide bombs like the slightly later VB-6 Felix — were that the aircraft had to be flown toward the target on a steady course and that as the missile neared its target it became possible to misguide by jamming its radio channel.
Unlike the Hs 293, which was deployed against merchant ships and light escorting warships, the Fritz X was intended to be used against armoured ships such as heavy cruisers and battleships. The minimum release height was 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) and a release height of 5,500 metres (18,000 ft) was preferred assuming adequate visibility. The Fritz X had to be released at least 5 kilometres (3 mi) from the target. The plane had to decelerate upon bomb release so momentum would carry the bomb in front of the aircraft where the bombardier could see and guide it. This deceleration was achieved by making a steep climb and then level out. The bombardier could make a maximum correction of 500 metres (1,600 ft) in range and 350 metres (1,150 ft) in bearing. The bomber was vulnerable to fighter attack as well as ship-based air defense weapons while maintaining a slow, steady course so the bombardier could maintain visual contact to guide the bomb. When working properly, the missile was able to pierce 130 mm (5.1 in) of armor.
Accuracy is the main reason for developing a weapon system of this kind, rather than continuing to use so-called "dumb bombs". A skilled operator could get 50% of the bombs within a 15 m (50 ft) radius of the aiming point, and about 90% hit within a 30 m (100 ft) radius. (Other sources say 60% hits within 4.6 meters radius.)