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Why was the Regulus Cruise Missile abandoned?


Crashdown109
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From what I have so far come to understand about this missile, it was superior to the Tomahawk in speed and, in later variants, range. I know it was abandoned for use in the role of nuclear deterent by the Polaris BM, but why weren't the plans dusted off when time came to made a cruise missile that can either sink a ship at 2,000 or more miles out at supersonic speed or hit inland targets, nuclear ordnance optional.

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From what I have so far come to understand about this missile, it was superior to the Tomahawk in speed and, in later variants, range. I know it was abandoned for use in the role of nuclear deterent by the Polaris BM, but why weren't the plans dusted off when time came to made a cruise missile that can either sink a ship at 2,000 or more miles out at supersonic speed or hit inland targets, nuclear ordnance optional.

 

 

Maybe you're thinking Regulus II? Regulus I, max range 575 nm, speed 518 kt (or thereabouts).

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From what I have so far come to understand about this missile, it was superior to the Tomahawk in speed and, in later variants, range. I know it was abandoned for use in the role of nuclear deterent by the Polaris BM, but why weren't the plans dusted off when time came to made a cruise missile that can either sink a ship at 2,000 or more miles out at supersonic speed or hit inland targets, nuclear ordnance optional.

 

 

The Regulus was more or less a copy of the WW2 Age German V1 cruise missile...

 

with a bad guidance system etc.

 

eve the Regulus II was a weapon of the 50s/60s and the balistic system looked much better in those days..

 

Harder to defend, more precise etc.

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A 2,000 nm cruise missile would take half an hour to reach its targets even at Mach 5.5. Not viable for anti-shipping at that distance.

 

The Regulus also required the sub to be on the surface- making it vulnerable.

 

The Tomahawk seems to be fine at the moment- and is air-launch capable. Not many targets that you'd need a 2,000 nm range from open ocean for and they'd be better attacked with a bomber.

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Maybe you're thinking Regulus II? Regulus I, max range 575 nm, speed 518 kt (or thereabouts).

 

I think I was. Thanks.

 

 

The Regulus was more or less a copy of the WW2 Age German V1 cruise missile...

 

with a bad guidance system etc.

 

eve the Regulus II was a weapon of the 50s/60s and the balistic system looked much better in those days..

 

Harder to defend, more precise etc.

 

True, but I was thinking something that has the "fuselage" of the Regulus II (so as to have the range and speed) with the guidance package of the Tomahawk. If it has to be launched from a surfaced sub only (as in no other platform, like a Ticonderoga CG or a B-1 Lancer), and it is not possible or practical to engineer it otherwise, then forget I said anything.

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It'd be possible, but I'd think the Russians and Chinese would kick up a storm about it.

 

At the risk of sounding like a war monger, let'um throw a political tandrum. The Chinese already proved that they have Anti-Satelite Capability, so it is highly hypocritical for them to complain about the US developing a new cruise missile. So politics is all that is stopping us from having a Regulas II with the brains of a Tomahawk? Since when does the opinion of another nation determine the policies enacted by the DoD?

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You're thinking of something along the lines of FastHawk or RATTLRS.

 

http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/app4/rattlrs.html

 

Sweet! But they say it will be air-launched, I hope they don't mean that it will ONLY be air-launched but, hopefully, will also have sub-launch, surface ship and MRLS-type launcher capability (maybe that is asking for too much, but in war I'd rather have too much than not enough).

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About Regulus and other rockets and missiles, his demise, and evolution of this and others high speed-high flight cruise missiles, I think the best internet source is http://www.astronautix.com/

If do you want serious knowledge about this topic, this is a basic source.

Two fundamental entries for old supersonic cruise missiles, and some fancy flights .... (My aestetically favorite ? Navaho, of course. Warning !!!! Sometimes very deep text on this site!!!):

http://www.astronautix.com/lvfam/uscsiles.htm

http://www.astronautix.com/lvfam/sovsiles.htm

 

And the most impressive, Tu-123: "Exotic design for an intercontinental missile using a gas core fission reactor for cruise propulsion. Studied circa 1957. The Tu-123 was an exotic missile design using an airbreathing kerosene/nuclear mixed propulsion engine."

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/tu123.htm

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There's one of those that walks into the mad science category- Project Pluto, which was deemed too dangerous to even test...

 

Ah, the nuclear powered cruise missile. New meaning to the term "weapon of mass destruction".

 

I read about that one somewhere. You'd have to be madder than a march hare to put that in production.

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USS GROWLER (SSG-577) is part of the INTREPID museum here in NYC which re-opens on Veterans Day. Hopefully, she will still have a Regulus in firing position. See the attached pix.

 

Looks like the Grayback, which was out of Subic for years. She was originally designated SSG-574, and in '68 she was retooled as an LPSS. I tried several times for orders to Grayback, admittedly because of her home port. She was decommisioned there in '84.

 

Buddha

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