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RIM-2 Terrier

Terrier was a Navy supersonic surface-to-air, two-stage missile. It was 27 feet long, 12 inches in diameter and weighed 3,000 pounds. It had a range of 15 miles and an operating ceiling of 10 miles. USS Belknap was one of the last ships in the Navy to carry the SM-1(ER) (Terrier).

Terrier's story can be traced back to 1945. In that year the U.S. Navy, somewhat shaken by the Japanese Kamikaze assaults, put out research contracts for a ship-to-air missile. The Bureau of Ordnance requested the Applied Physics Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University to do the job, which went ahead as Project Bumblebee. Over the ensuing years many hundreds of test vehicles, with ramjet propulsion, were fired; much of the effort was expended in arriving at a suitable ramjet.

Many of the test vehicles employed in stability and guidance trials were powered by rockets, and it was soon obvious that, if such propulsion were used in place of a ramjet, a reasonably useful missile could be made available relatively quickly. This was done, and the lowly test vehicle with beam-rider guidance branched out into the complete Terrier weapon system, the missile itself being SAM-N-7. Convair was brought in as manufacturer, under the tutelage of JHU/APL. The Navy built a completely new production plant at Pomona, CA, and Convair began deliveries from there in January 1953.

Terrier's configuration is almost a classic form for anti-aircraft missiles. At the front is the warhead, with its very heavy charge, fired by a proximity fuse, and surrounding fragmentation unit. At the rear of this section is the forward guidance package, containing hydraulic servos and carrying the four pivoting wings (the response from pivoting wings is more rapid than from tail controls). Further aft is accommodated the solid-propellant sustainer and the aft guidance assemblies, including the four fixed fins with their rearwardfacing aerials for riding the beam. The fins are indexed at 45 deg to the wings. Finally there is the 14ft booster, which develops 200,000 h.p. at burn-out.

Convair's production, and second-source manufacture by Motorola, at Phoenix, Ariz, was supported by a host of sub-contractors. High precision magnesium and aluminium die-castings were made by the Harvill Corporation; sustainer motors, which were claimed to burn longer than the liquid-propellant units of the earlier Nikes, were produced by the M.W. Kellogg company; the boosters were developed by the Alleghany Ballistics Laboratory and Philco was responsible for the proximity fuse.

Most of the development for initial service took place between 1951 and 1954. A variety of drones, up to the size of P4Y-2K, were successfully destroyed, intensive Fleet firing starting in 1952. The first ship to fire the weapon was U.S.S. Mississippi, which took part in Atlantic Fleet exercises with Terriers in November 1954. By this time work was well advanced on the conversion of the first Terrier-equipped fighting ship, the cruiser Boston.

It has been written that missile equipment "fills Boston from keel to top-sides aft of funnel." Whole areas are devoted to Terrier storage, assembly, mechanical feeding to the launchers and firing. There are two superimposed twin launchers, each governed by ship radar installed by Reeves. The latter equipment comprises AN/SPQ-5 tracking and guidance radar and AN/MSG-3 fire-control equipment. The whole system is completely different from the land-based, area-defence Nike. The ship commissioned in the spring of 1955, joining CAG-1 with a complement of 1,635 including 103 missile technicians.

During several series of operational trials under war conditions Boston has proved the capability of the Terrier system. The brain of the MSG-3 gear decides which target will be engaged and prepares the system for firing. The launchers are aligned fore-and-aft at 90-deg elevation, ready to receive the missiles. The latter, with boosters, are hydraulically rammed up the rails of the feedways and on to the adjacent rails of the launchers. The launcher then follows the lockedon beam until the missiles are fired, normally two in a salvo, with a slight time-difference. The Terriers are gathered into the beam and ride a curve of pursuit to the target, reaching Mach 2 in the 3-1/2 second boost period and then accelerating more gradually to Mach 2.5.

It was found that Boston can track two targets at once (one per launcher) and that the pair of twin-launchers can sustain eight rounds per minute indefinitely. Target drones travelling at "over 500 kt at around 50,000ft" have been destroyed without difficulty. The only real operational trouble was that the beam-riding system cannot be depressed sufficiently to counter a wave-skipping attacker.

In May 1956 a second Terrier-cruiser, the Canberra, was commissioned. She differed from Boston in her guidance radar. A destroyer was converted on the 1956 budget, and the total of Terrier-equipped ships was scheduled to reach four by 1959, 13 by 1960 and 22 by 1961. By the latter year, however, Tartar should be in service. Production rounds were delivered by rail to depots on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, there to await delivery to the Fleet by special replenishment craft.

The first significant improvement to the TERRIER Missile was the change in the control system from wing control to tail control. This was prompted by the need for better maneuverability to counter evasive maneuvers on the part of the attacker. The second major improvement was the change from a beamrider guidance system to semiactive homing. The third major change, concurrent with the second, was the development of an integral dual-thrust rocket motor (a single rocket that provides a high thrust for boost followed by a much lower thrust for the sustain phase). This version became the TARTAR Missile.

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Page last modified: 06-12-2017 17:40:18 ZULU