First used by the German air force (Luftwaffe) in the Second World War, the Fritz-X was the first precision guided munition to be used by an aircraft to attack a ship. While it had been designed in 1939, Germany first used a rocket-boosted guided weapon, which was radio-controlled by a human observer, to sink the Italian battleship Roma in 1943. The weapon was visually controlled by an operator in a Dornier-217 bomber. This bomb, generally known as Fritz-X although designated the FX-1400 at the time of its use, weighed 1400 kilograms overall, and had a hard-penetration case (300 KG explosive payload).
The FX-1400 was 3.3 meters long. It had four small wings, with the aerodynamic controls in the tail.
- Cestra, Francesco, The Sinking of the Battleship Roma, September 9th, 1943