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SSM-N-6 Rigel
Type Cruise missile
Place of origin United States
Service history
Used by United States Navy
Production history
Manufacturer Grumman
Specifications
Weight 23,800 pounds (10,800 kg) (with boosters)
13,000 pounds (5,900 kg) (w/o boosters)
Length 46 feet 1 inch (14.05 m)
Diameter 3.75 feet (1.14 m)

Warhead 3,000 pounds (1,400 kg) such as the W5 warhead

Engine 2 × Marquardt 28 ramjet 6,000 lbf (27 kN)
4 × booster rockets 8,000 lbf (36 kN)
Wingspan 13 feet 4 inches (4.06 m)
Operational
range
500 nautical miles (926 km)
Speed Mach 2
Launch
platform
submarine

The SSM-N-6 Rigel was a proposed United States Navy submarine-launched, nuclear-capable ramjet-powered cruise missile.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The Rigel missile was named after Rigel, the brightest star in the constellation Orion.[1]

Development[edit | edit source]

In 1946 the US Navy sanctioned development of the Rigel missile as a sub-launched supersonic weapon to attack enemy shores, in parallel with development of the subsonic SSM-N-8 Regulus. The SSM-N-6 was to be launched by means of 4 rocket boosters and a catapult, with two ramjets for the cruise mode of the flight.

Several Rigel test articles were built to test the planned ramjet system for the Rigel missile. They had a single ramjet and a single rocket booster. Subsequently, scaled-down Flight Test Vehicles (FTVs) were built with a configuration similar to the full-scale missile, and the first FTV launch occurred in May 1950. Unfortunately, plans to build the SSM-N-6 missiles were cancelled because the failure of FTV flight tests, but also due to the fact that Rigel posed a problem for submariners by requiring a longer launch rail on submarines than the SSM-N-8 Regulus.[2]

Operators[edit | edit source]

United States Navy (planned)

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Yenne, Bill (2018). A Complete History of U.S. Cruise Missiles. Forest Lake, MN: Specialty Press. p. 61. ISBN 978-1-58007-256-4. 
  2. "Grumman SSM-N-6 Rigel". http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/app1/ssm-n-6.html. 

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