RIM-2 Terrier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
RIM-2 Terrier
RIM-2 Terrier on board USS Boston (CAG-1).jpg
RIM-2 Terrier on board USS Boston (CAG-1)
Type Medium Range Surface-to-air missile
Place of origin United States
Service history
Used by United States Navy, and others.
Production history
Manufacturer Convair - Pomona, California Division
Weight 3,000 lb (1,360 kg)
(missile: 1,180 lb/535 kg,
booster: 1,820 lb/825 kg)
Length 27 ft (8.23 m)
Diameter 13.5 in
Warhead 218 lb (99 kg) controlled-fragmentation or 1kT W45 nuclear warhead

Engine solid fuel rocket
Propellant solid rocket fuel
17.3 nmi (32 km)
Flight ceiling 80,000 ft (24,400 m)
Speed Mach 3.0
Semi-active radar homing
Surface ship

The Convair RIM-2 Terrier was a two-stage medium-range naval surface-to-air missile (SAM), and was among the earliest surface-to-air missiles to equip United States Navy ships. It underwent significant upgrades while in service, starting with a beam-riding system with 10 nmi range at a speed of Mach 1.8, and ending as a semi-active radar homing system with a range of 40 nmi at speeds as high as Mach 3. It was replaced in service by the RIM-67 Standard ER (SM-1ER).

Terrier has also been used as a sounding rocket.


The Terrier was a development of the Bumblebee Project, the Navy's effort to develop a surface-to-air missile to provide a middle layer of defense against air attack (between carrier fighters and antiaircraft guns). It was test launched from USS Mississippi (AG-128) ex (BB-41) on January 28, 1953, and first deployed operationally on the Boston-class cruisers, USS Boston (CAG-1) and USS Canberra (CAG-2) in the mid-1950s, with Canberra being the first to achieve operational status June 15, 1956. Its US Navy designation was SAM-N-7 until 1963 when it was re-designated RIM-2.

For a brief time during the mid-1950s the USMC had two Terrier battalions equipped with specially modified twin sea launchers for land use that fired the SAM-N-7. The Terrier was the first surface-to-air missile operational with the USMC. The launchers were reloaded by a special vehicle that carried two Terrier reloads. [1]

Initially, the Terrier used radar beam-riding guidance, wing control, and a conventional warhead. It had a top speed of only Mach 1.8, a range of only 10 nautical miles (19 km), and was only useful against subsonic targets. Originally, the Terrier had a launch thrust of 23 kN (5,200 lbf), and weight of 1,392 kg (3,069 lb). Its original dimensions were a diameter of 340 mm, a length of 8.08 m, and a fin span of 1.59 m. Cost per missile in 1957 was an estimated $60,000. [2]

Before it was even in widespread service it was seeing major improvements. The RIM-2C, named the Terrier BT-3 (Beam-riding, Tail control, series 3) was introduced in 1958. The wings were replaced with fixed strakes, and the tail became the control surface. The BT-3 also had a new motor, and featured extended range, Mach 3 speed, and better maneuverability. The RIM-2D Terrier BT-3A(N) used a W45 1kt nuclear warhead, but all other variants used a 218 lb (99 kg) controlled-fragmentation warhead.

The RIM-2E introduced semi-active radar homing, for greater effectiveness against low-flying targets. The final version, the RIM-2F, used a new motor which doubled effective range to 40 nmi (74 km; 46 mi).

The Terrier was the primary missile system of most US Navy cruisers built during the 1960s. It could be installed on much smaller ships than the much larger and longer-ranged RIM-8 Talos. A Terrier installation typically consisted of the Mk 10 twin-arm launcher with a 40-round rear-loading magazine, but some ships had extended magazines with 80 or 120 rounds, and the installation in Boston and Canberra used a bottom-loading magazine of 72 rounds.

The French Navy's Masurca missile was developed with some technology provided by the USN from Terrier.

The Terrier was replaced by the extended range RIM-67 Standard missile. The RIM-67 offered the range of the much larger RIM-8 Talos in a missile the size of the Terrier.

Terrier has also been used, typically as a first stage, for conducting research. The Terrier can be equipped with various upper stages, like the Asp, the TE-416 Tomahawk (not to be confused with the similarly named BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile) or the Orion. The booster also served as the basis for the MIM-3 Nike Ajax booster, which was slightly larger but otherwise similar, which has also seen widespread use in sounding rockets.

Terrier versions[edit]

Designation Early designation Control surfaces Guidance Notes
RIM-2A BW-0 Wing control Beam-riding Subsonic targets only
RIM-2B BW-1 Wing control Beam-riding Subsonic targets only
RIM-2C BT-3 Tail control Beam-riding In service 1958, supersonic targets
RIM-2D BT-3A(N) Tail control Beam-riding W45 nuclear 1kT yield
RIM-2E HT-3 Tail control Semi-active radar homing Introduced semi-active homing
RIM-2F Tail control Semi-active radar homing New rocket motor


 Marina Militare
 Royal Netherlands Navy
 United States Navy


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rockets & Missiles by Bill Gunston, p. 201, Crescent Books 1979, ISBN 0-517-26870-1
  2. ^ "Shell Cost Soars" Popular Mechanics, July 1957, p. 115.

External links[edit]

Media related to RIM-2 Terrier at Wikimedia Commons