Photo by Staff Sgt. Jacob Kohrs
HIMARS and M270A1 MLRS rocket exhaust can do a real number on the cable connectors. The exhaust is extremely corrosive. If it’s allowed to do its worst, you’ll soon get system faults and it becomes harder and harder to connect and disconnect cables.
A little PM after firing can make short work of corrosion. Use a wire brush to rub off any corrosion from the outside of connectors. Then use a soft brush and isopropyl alcohol to clean inside the connectors. Pay special attention to the HIMARS’ W519 and W520 and the MLRS’ W19 and W420 cables. They usually have the most problems with corrosion.
Clean rocket exhaust off connectors with wire brush
Use the cable second-chance (SAV-CONS) adapters. The adapters are fairly cheap—cables are not. If you bend the pins on an adapter, you can just put on another adapter and you’re back in business. That’s why it’s a good idea for HIMARS and MLRS units to keep a stock of second-chance adapters. You don’t want to take a chance damaging the cable connector because you have no adapter.
Always use second-chance adapters
HIMARS units can get more adapters free from the contractor with pseudo NSNs 0000-H0-000-0028 and 0000-H0-000-0029. MLRS units order the adapters with NSN 5935-01-155-9847 and NSN 5935-01-238-5896.
When cables become difficult to take off or you get system faults, first try changing the second-chance adapter. That often fixes the problem.