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GAR-11/AIM-26 Falcon

The first 'head-on' capable Falcon was the AIM-26. The GAR-11 was redesignated AIM-26 and the GAR-9 was redesignated AIM-47. The AIM-26 (Super Falcon) was an American short range air-to-air missile which first entered service in 1960. The AIM-26 uses a Hughes semi-active radar homing guidance system. The AIM-26 is 2.07 meters long and weighs 118.8 kg.

The Convair F-102 entered service with the Air Defense Command in April 1956 and was the first delta-winged, all-weather interceptor. The Deuce was originally designed to carry up to 6 AIM-4A/B/C Falcon missiles on extendable launch rails. It also carried up to 24 2.75-inch unguided rockets couples in pairs of tubes in the bay doors. In 1963, 450 aircraft were modified to carry AIM-26 Nuclear-capable Falcon missiles. The Convair Model 8-10 (F-102A Delta Dart) could carry up to 2000 lb of disposable armaments in two lower-fuselage weapon bays, and generally comprised one GAR-11/11A Falcon nuclear-tipped and three GAR-2A/B Falcon short-range air-to-air missiles, later AIM-26 and AIM-4 anti-air missiles were carried.

An attempt at the realization of the idea of the creation of rocket the equipped with nuclear warhead on the base of family AIM-4 Falcon was made for the first time in 1956. The firm Hughes concluded a contract to the creation of rockets GAR-5 and GAR-6. These rockets had to be substantially larger than the existing Falcon, and the diameter was increased from 0.16 to to 0.3m) and the length increased from 2.0 m to 3.5 m. The rockets were planned for use against the high-altitude high-speed bombers and the rockets. The GAR-5 and GAR-6 were distinguished only by their guidance systems -- a semi-active radar on GAR-5, and infrared on GAR-6. All work on these missiles was halted at an early stage.

Development of the nuclear Falcon was resumed again beginning in 1959, when was accepted the solution that the interceptors of USAF - United States Air force need powerful weapon for dealing with the enemy bombers from the forward half sphere. This dictated the need of using radar guidance system. But at that time radars had too low an accuracy for destruction of target conventional warhead. The rocket, which received designation GAR-11, was planned to be equipped with a small nuclear warhead of the type W-54 (0.25 KT).

The GAR-11 was somewhat larger and substantially heavier than the AIM-4. Tests of the GAR-11 were passed without problems in 1960, and in 1961 GAR-11 was accepted into service. With it equipped interceptors F-101, F-102 and F-106. the undermining of warhead was achieved by a radar fuse. However, a nuclear warhead has an essential deficiency - it cannot be used against the low-altitude targets above its territory.

There was in parallel created another version -- GAR-11A -- with a conventional warhead. This variant of the AIM-26 had a maximum range of 9600 meters and flies at a speed of Mach 2, and was armed with a 40-lb proximity-fused blast fragmentation warhead. While little used by the USAF, they were supplied for export to Sweden (it were produced on the license) under designation RB.28. In 1963 the GAR-11 was renamed in AIM-26, with the XGAR-11 and GAR-11A renamed XAIM-26 and AIM-26B, respectively. Improvements in the radar guidance systems at the end the 1960's, were use with the creation effective Aim-7 Sparrow. This fact, together with the impossibility of application on the low-altitude targets, they led to the rapid removal of rockets Aim-26 from operation, and to 1971 in the arsenal by USAF - United States Air force it did not remain not one rocket. In Sweden rockets Rb.28 was in operation prior to the beginning the 80's. In all about 4000 rockets AIM-26 of all versions were produced.



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