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Tartar surface-to-air-missile

Date: 1970s
Overall: 4000 x 400 x 400 mm, 250 kg
Medium: Metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Transferred from the Department of Defence
Object Name: Missile
Object No: 00015636
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    This missile has medium-range, supersonic surface-to-air shipboard guided defence capabilities and was designed to engage low-flying targets from destroyer ships and smaller vessels. It was developed in the United States in 1952 and used in the Royal Australian Navy.
    SignificanceThe Tartar missile played an important role in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) by providing primary air defence for destroyers, destroyer escorts and secondary air defence for cruisers.
    HistoryThe Bumblebee missile development program after World War II resulted in the Talos, Terrier, Tartar and Standard missiles. The Tartar was an improved version of the Terrier and preceded the Standard. First plans in 1951 required that the missile be suitable for destroyers and smaller ships. It was designed to engage low-flying targets and as such to replace the standard 5-inch gun mount.

    The first version - RIM24A - had a distance range of 1.85 - 13.7 kilometres and an altitude range of 15,000 - 16,765 metres. Its speed was Mach 1.8. The first test vehicle flew in November 1956, the first control test vehicle in July 1957 and the first Tartar prototype at the Naval Ordnance Test Station in August 1958. The improved Tartar came into production in 1963 - the RIM24B. Its range and altitude were increased and it also had a surface-to-surface anti-ship capability.

    The Tartar's missile booster and sustainer rockets are combined in a single solid-propellant motor, thereby making it easier for installation on smaller ships. It has a fully automatic magazine handling and loading system. The tail fins unfold automatically as it is placed on the launcher unlike previous missiles that required manual fittings of wings and tail surfaces.

    Its targets are designated by radar. The tracker/illuminator radars follows the target and a computer provides the missile with launching commands. The guidance is semi-active homing. It computes a collision course, then steers the missile to intercept the target by means of the four hydraulically operated tail fins. The warhead is HE (high explosive).

    The smallest Tartar launcher - the Mark 22 - carries 16 missiles; the Mark 11 carries 42 and can launch one salvo of two weapons every 20 seconds; the Mark 13 carries 40 missiles and launches one missile every 10 seconds.
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