RIM-8 Talos

RIM-8 Talos

Infobox Weapon
name=RIM-8 Talos

caption=RIM-8G Talos missile.
type=Surface-to-air missile
used_by=United States Navy
service=Withdrawn from service 1979
engine=Bendix ramjet sustainer,
Stage1: MK 11 solid-fueled rocket booster,
Stage2: Bendix ramjet sustainer
weight=7800 lb (missile: 3400 lb, booster: 4400 lb)
length=456 in
diameter=28 in
wingspan=2.80 m (110 in)
speed=Mach 2.5
vehicle_range=185 km (100 nm); RIM-8A: 92 km (50 nm)
ceiling=24400 m (80000 ft)
filling=136 kg (300 lb) continuous-rod HE warhead or W-30 nuclear warhead (2 - 5 kT)
guidance=semi-active radar homing
launch_platform=Surface Ship
:This|the surface-to-air missile|Talos (disambiguation)The Bendix RIM-8 Talos was a long-range naval surface-to-air missile, and was among the earliest surface-to-air missiles to equip United States Navy ships. The Talos used radar beam riding for guidance to the vicinity of its target, and semiactive radar homing (SARH) for terminal guidance. The characteristic array of four antennas surrounding the nose are the SARH receivers which functioned as a continuous wave interferometer. Thrust was provided by a solid rocket booster for initial launch and a Bendix ramjet for flight to target with the warhead doubling as the ramjet's compressor.


The Talos was a development of the Bumblebee Project, the Navy's effort to develop a surface-to-air missile to provide an extra layer of aircraft defense. The Talos was the primary effort behind the Bumblebee project, but was not the first missile the program developed; the RIM-2 Terrier was the first to enter service. The Talos was originally designated SAM-N-6, and was redesignated RIM-8 in 1963.

The Talos saw relatively limited use due to its large size; there were few ships that could accommodate the system. The Talos was launched from the Mk 12 twin-arm launcher, which was fed from behind by a 46-round below main deck magazine. The Talos system was installed in three converted "Cleveland" class light cruisers (USS "Oklahoma City", "Galveston", and "Little Rock") (which used the Mark 7 Launching System which had 14 birds in a ready-service magazine and up to 15 unmated missiles and boosters in a storage area all above main deck), the converted "Baltimore" class heavy cruisers "Albany", "Chicago", "Columbus" and the nuclear-powered USS "Long Beach".

The initial SAM-N-6b/RIM-8A had an effective range of about 50nm, and a conventional warhead. The SAM-N-6bW/RIM-8B was a RIM-8A with a nuclear warhead; terminal guidance was judged unnecessary for a nuclear warhead, so the SARH antenna were omitted. The SAM-N-6b1/RIM-8C was introduced in 1960 and had nearly double the range, and a more lethal conventional warhead. The RIM-8D was the nuclear-warhead version of the -8C. The SAM-N-6c/RIM-8E "Unified Talos" had a warhead that could be swapped while embarked, eliminating the need to waste magazine capacity carrying dedicated nuclear warhead variants. The RIM-8E also carried an improved continuous-wave terminal homing seeker, and had a higher ceiling. Some RIM-8Cs were retrofitted with the new seeker, and designated RIM-8F. The RIM-8G and RIM-8J had further radar homing improvements. The RIM-8H Talos-ARM was a dedicated anti-radar homing missile for use against shore-based radar stations. Initial testing of the RIM-8H was performed in 1965, and soon after it was deployed in Vietnam on "Chicago", "Oklahoma City", and "Long Beach", attacking North Vietnamese SAM radars. The surface-to-air versions also saw action in Vietnam, a total of three MiGs being shot down by "Chicago" and "Long Beach". The Talos missile also had surface-to-surface capabilities.


The Talos was slowly phased out of service as ships with the Mk 12 launcher were retired. The last Talos-equipped ship other than "Long Beach" was retired in 1979, and "Long Beach" had her Talos launcher replaced with an Armored Box Launcher in the early 1980s.

The missiles remaining in the Navy inventory were converted to a high tech supersonic target missile, the MQM-8G Vandal. The inventory was exhausted ca. 2005.


ee also

*RIM-2 Terrier
*RIM-24 Tartar

External links

* [http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-8.html Designation systems.net - RIM-8 Talos]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaeDP4p1qZI Talos Missile Handling, Cruiser Installation Film]

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