The Terrier was the first surface-to-air missile used by the U.S. Navy. The guided-missile cruiser is equipped with multiple launchers, each with two rails, each RIM-2. The two-stage stem is initially launched by a 12-foot-long booster, which, combined with the main sustainment motor (two solid-fuel rocket types), will propel RIM-2 to a speed close to Mach 2.5. This terrier is armed with a conventional explosive warhead.
As the first surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile used by the U.S. military, the MIM-3 Nike Ajax, with the Nike name on it, will become a symbol of U.S. urban air defense for years to come. Development began after World War II, from ideas formed during the war, when the idea of defending cities with new missile technology became apparent.
The city will be surrounded by launch batteries, coordinated through the SAGE (Semi-Autonomous Ground Environment) command and control network. The traditionally equipped Nike Ajax uses a solid rocket motor booster, a hard-to-use red-fuming nitric acid and a kerosene-powered sustainer. The MIM-14 Nike Hercules replaced the Nike Ajax.
Left side view of two AIM-4 Falcon missiles. In the foreground is the radar-guided AIM-4, formerly designated GAR-3A (later AIM-4F), followed by the infrared-guided Falcon, formerly designated GAR-4A (later AIM-4G)
On the left is the AIM-4 with basic navigation, formerly designated GAR-2A (later AIM-4C), and on the right is the radar-guided Falcon, formerly known as GAR-1D (later AIM-4A). The aircraft in the background is an F-102A.
The Corporal is a nuclear-capable short-range surface-to-surface missile. The MGM-5 was built by Firestone (airframe) and Ryan (engine), but those companies were subcontracted to Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as prime contractors. The Corporal was the United States’ first operational guided ballistic missile, although it had a shorter range than subsequent ballistic missiles.
The MGM-5 is the first U.S. missile capable of delivering a kiloton nuclear warhead, although the Corporal also plans to use conventional warheads. As a tactical missile, the choice of the warhead is determined by the needs of the battle at the time. Although superseded by the MGM-29 Sergeant missile, it remained in service until 1966, when it was only in service with the British Army.
RGM-6 Regulus I
An RGM-6 (formerly SSM-N-8) Regulus missile on USS Hancock (CVA-19) on the deck of the launch platform.
The Regulus I is a surface-to-surface missile designed to be launched from submarines but is also carried by US Navy aircraft carriers and several cruisers. Powered by an air-breathing turbojet engine, the Regulus I was the fundamental entry point that ushered the U.S. Navy into the missile age before the ability to operate missiles that could be launched from submerged submarines became a reality.
The U.S. Navy used the RGM-6 for nearly a decade. The design is like a small fighter jet without a cockpit. Regulus was equipped with two solid rocket boosters to assist in the launch, which disappeared shortly after launch. A recoverable variant was developed to train sailors in the operation.
AIM-7 Sparrow / RIM-7 Sea Sparrow
The AIM-7 is a radar-guided air-to-air missile used by most U.S. military fighter jets from the 1950s to the present. There is a navalized variant for surface-to-air use designated the RIM-7.
Sparrows are mounted on aircraft with weapons pylons, while Sea Sparrows are launched from enclosed containers on the decks of surface ships. As a radar-guided weapon, it was the primary visual-range missile for fighter jets of all branches in the United States until recently, when the AIM-120 replaced it. This was after many missiles were proposed and abandoned as replacements for the Sparrow.