a. General. Launchers are mechanical structures that provide support and control during initial stages of motion. Launchers enable the missile's control, guidance, and propulsion systems to function effectively.

b. Types of Launchers. Some basic types of launching devices are trainable platform, vertical tower, vertical ramp, ramp or rail (other than vertical), zero length (a launcher on which there is negligible travel by the missile), gun, catapult and aircraft.

c. Firing. Firing of guided missiles from a launcher is usually accomplished electrically by remote control.

d. Blast Protection. Because of the dangerous blast of flame emitted by guided missiles, the launching site must be cleared of personnel and unnecessary equipment. Unprotected combustible material must also be removed from the launching area.

12-11. Care, Handling and Preservation In general, the same safety regulations apply to guided missiles as to other types of ammunition. However, certain components of the missile require special handling.

a. Protect control equipment, which includes such sensitive items as gyroscopes, homing devices, electronic equipment, and other precision instruments, from rough or careless handling.

b. Take special precautions with certain fuels and oxidizers, because of fire, explosion, contact and inhalation hazards.

c. Use protective clothing and masks when handling certain fuels and oxidizers.

d. Carefully train personnel in safety measures, procedures for handling, and precautions in use of guided missile explosive or flammable components.

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