United States Air Force Regulus II cruise missile (GM2008) being
used as a target drone.
(Photo credit: Charles A. Koch)
II CRUISE MISSILE
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE REGULUS II TEST RANGE I
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE REGULUS II TEST RANGE II
REGULUS II TARGET DRONES
REGULUS II TARGET DRONE CHECKOUT PART I
REGULUS II TARGET DRONE CHECKOUT PART II
REGULUS II TARGET DRONE LAUNCH
A model of a Regulus II crusie missile.
Photo credit: Charles A. Koch
The Chance Vought Aircraft RGM-15 Regulus II cruise missile, which could carry a 2,920-pound nuclear warhead at Mach 2 supersonic speed, first flew in May 1956, from Edwards Air Force Base, and was intended to be a replacement for the Regulus I cruisle missile, which first entered service in 1955, on the cruiser USS Los Angeles (CA-135), though the aircraft carrier USS Princeton (CV 37) was the first ship to fire it. It was later deployed on three other cruisers, the USS Helena (CA 75), the USS Macon (CA 132), and the USS Toledo (CA 133), ten aircraft carriers, and five submarines, the USS Barbero (SSG-317), the USS Grayback (SSG-574), the USS Halibut (SSGN-587), the USS Tunny (SSG-282), and the USS Growler (SSG-577), which is now, with a Regulus I missile, on display at the Intrepid Air Sea Space Museum, in New York City. Once fired, the Regulus I cruise missile could be guided to its target, by a pilot, from a range of 125 miles, at 35,000 feet. However, the Regulus II cruise missile project was cancelled on December 18, 1958, as the United States Navy decided to develop the submarine-launched Polaris ballistic missile, instead, and the Regulus I cruise missile remained in service until 1964, on the USS Halibut, with 514 of them being built.
The 11-ton Regulus II cruise missile, which was powered by a General Electric J79 jet engine, had a wingspan of 20 feet and 1 inch (6.12 meters), a length of 57 feet and 6 inches (17.5 meters), a range of 1,380 miles (2,220 km), and 54 of them were built. The only submarine-based firing of the Regulus II cruise missile, from the USS Grayback, occurred in September 1958 and some of these were still in use by the USN after 1958, as reuseable supersonic target drones, equiped with landing gear.
These photos show some of the Regulus II cruise missiles being used as target drones for Bomarc missiles, at the Eglin Gulf Test Range, which was adjacent to the Venice Municipal Airport, in Venice, Florida. They would be flown at supersonic speed to Eglin Air Force Base, during these training flights for Bomarc crewmembers, and surface-to-air Bomarc missiles, with a top speed of Mach 2.8 and a range of 250 miles, would be fired from Santa Rosa Island, in Florida, which was under the command of the Montgomery Air Defense Sector, at Gunter Air Force Base, in Alabama, about 150 miles away, to track them down.
The first Regulus II target drone flight from this test range was made on September 3, 1959 and a total of 46 flights were made, using 13 missiles. These operations were later moved to the United States Navy's Naval Air Station Roosevelt Roads, in Puerto Rico, on September 30, 1961, where they were used as target drones for Tartar, Terrier, and Talos missiles, until 1963. Most of the Regulus II target drones, which were designated KD2U-1 and MQM-15A, were used at Point Mugu, California, where 17 target drones made 64 flights and the last Regulus II target drone flight was made by GM2048 in December 1965.
VOUGHT SSM-N-9/RGM-15 REGULUS II
BIRD ON A WIRE: THE SAGA OF THE REGULUS II
CRUISE MISSILES OF THE 1950'S & 1960'S
BOEING F-99/IM-69/IM-99/CIM-10 BOMARC
BOEING/MARC CIM-10B "BOMARC B"
BOMARC MISSILE SITES
INTREPID AIR SEA SPACE MUSEUM REGULUS I MISSILE
INTREPID AIR SEA SPACE MUSEUM
USS GROWLER SSG-577
A vintage post card showing a missile display at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. The first missile on the left is a Bomarc missile, which used the Regulus II crusie missile as a target drone.
A photo showing a Bomarc missile being fired.