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SOLD! $3850! US AGM 22 AT Guided Missile-French Nord SS-11

This item is a large, antitank, guided missile.

Type Designator/Model: AGM 22 (SS-11 in France)

Cal./Size: 47-inches long with a 7-inch diameter body and a 19 ½-inch wingspan and a weight of approximately 66 IB.

Color: Blue with white markings. Manufacturer: NORD Aviation. Country of Origin: France Trainer: Yes.

Long Description: This is a wire-guided antitank guided missile that was in production from 1956 to 1982. There are two side-mounted venturies, one of which is visible in the photo in green. The missile is prolifically stenciled to include the word “DUMMY” in several places. This one appears to have all its internals and engine. These missiles were in service from the 1950s to 1980s and were mounted in helicopters, tracked vehicles, and fast patrol boats. This is the ultimate display/man cave item. They rarely are ever offered for sale.

The AGM-22 AT Guided Missile, also known as the French Nord SS-11, has quite a history, and depending on one's interests, has stories from different angles:

From a military perspective:

  • Vietnam Hero: The AGM-22 was extensively used in the Vietnam War, primarily mounted on UH-1 Iroquois helicopters (nicknamed "Hueys"). It was one of the few effective weapons against North Vietnamese tanks and fortifications, earning the nickname "the workhorse" and "tank buster." Its success there solidified the concept of helicopter-borne anti-tank warfare.

  • Early challenges: Despite its achievements, the AGM-22 wasn't without drawbacks. Its manual wire-guided system made it vulnerable to enemy fire and required skilled operators. Additionally, its limited range and armor penetration restricted its effectiveness in later stages of the war.

  • Evolution of a weapon: The AGM-22 served as a steppingstone for later, more advanced anti-tank missiles like the TOW and Hellfire. Its development and combat use significantly influenced anti-tank tactics and technologies.

From a human perspective:

  • Soldier's bond: Many veterans have shared stories about their experiences with the AGM-22, highlighting the intense focus and teamwork required to use it effectively. The shared danger and reliance on each other forged strong bonds between crew members.

  • Close calls and heroism: Numerous accounts detail harrowing situations where quick thinking and skillful use of the AGM-22 saved lives and turned the tide of battles. These stories showcase the courage and resourcefulness of the soldiers who wielded this weapon.

  • The human cost: It's important to remember that the AGM-22, like any weapon, was used in conflict and resulted in casualties. Recognizing the human impact of its use adds depth and perspective to its story.

Beyond the battlefield:

  • Hollywood action: The AGM-22 has made appearances in various films depicting the Vietnam War, like "Apocalypse Now" and "Air America." These portrayals, while sometimes romanticized, contribute to its popular image.

  • Museum exhibits: Several museums, including the National Air and Space Museum and the Army Aviation Museum, display the AGM-22, allowing visitors to learn about its history and significance firsthand.

  • A reminder of innovation: The AGM-22 represents a crucial step in anti-tank missile development. Its story highlights the constant push for better technology and the impact it has on warfare and society.

Ultimately, the story of the AGM-22 is multifaceted, encompassing military history, human experiences, and broader societal implications.

This was sold for $3850 during the March 16, 2024, Geibel Ordnance Auction.


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