Talk:RIM-8 Talos

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What launcher is that?[edit]

Regarding the Talos launchers; the article lists the Galveston class cruisers as having a "Mark 7" launcher with only 29 missiles. This is at odds with the only sources I have found on the subject, which specify a 46-missile magazine, and a launcher that is - at least visually - identical to the Mk 11 installation found on the Albany class and the Long Beach: Janes American Fighting Ships of the 20th Century, Mallard Press, 1991

Also, in the main image for the article, the Talos is show on a launcher that I cannot identify, which appears to be land-based. What is that? Some kind of test rig? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:01, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

The answer to your question is that there were multiple launchers that were employeed as launchers for the Talos missile. The Mk12 launcher was the large installation fit to the Albany class and the USS Long Beach. The Mk7 was a earlier smaller version used in the Galveston class conversions. The Mk11 launcher is the twin arm Tartar missile launcher. The Mk11 launcher was beset by maintance issues and was replaced by the Mk13 launcher and later Mk26 launcher. The Mk12 and Mk7 look very similar above deck.--Two way time (talk) 05:52, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Actually, you are confusing the "guided missile launching system" (GLMS) with the "guided missile launcher." The CLGs had a Mk 7 Mod 0 Talos GMLS and a Mk 7 Mod 0 Guided Missile Launcher. The CGs had a Mk 12 Mod 0 and 1 GMLS and a Mk 7 Mod 1 Guided Missile Launcher. See for a detailed description of the Mk 7 GMLS. For really detailed information see the Navy GMM Training Manuals at

The Talos land based launchers were usually one-off prototypes. There was a single rail "one arm bandit" at China Lake and White Sands, and then a twin rail launcher at White Sands that slightly resembled the production Mk 7 launcher. The Mk 7 launcher was removed from the USS Oklahoma City CG-5 after decommissioning and move to San Nicholas Island off Point Magu for Vandal flights in the 1980s and 1990s.

P. R. Hays, LT USNR Retired, Talos Nuclear Weapons Officer USS Oklahoma City CLG-5 1970-1972. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Prhays (talkcontribs) 07:56, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

The CLG Mk 7 GMLS carried 46 Talos missiles. 16 were in the Ready Service Magazine mated to boosters and ready for lauching (after wings and fins were installed in the Wing and Fin Area). 30 more missiles and boosters were stored in the Missile Storage Magazine.

The CG Mk 12 GMLS carried 52 missiles in the Missile Magazine, all mated to boosters and ready to fire after wings and fins were installed. See the GMM 1&C manuals.

P. R. Hays LT USN Retired. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Prhays (talkcontribs) 08:20, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

In re RIM-8 vs. MiG-15[edit]

I removed the following from the article:

It was only about 1.5 meters shorter (Mig 15bis length 33' 2" Talos length 38') than the MiG-15 fighter that it was designed to shoot down.[1][unreliable source?]

This statement is just confused (which is longer?), and the claim that the Talos "was designed to shoot down" MiG-15s is implausible, given that the MiG-15 served as an interceptor at this time — surely the Navy was more concerned with shooting down antiship strike aircraft? Best just make the comparison based on the size data already used in the respective articles and leave it at that. Tkinias (talk) 17:27, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Point is, these missiles were big. Tour USS Little Rock up in Buffalo and it's amazing how much territory these things with their associated hardware took up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

The Talos missile was intended to shoot down any threat (or try to) so it isn't correct to say it was designed to shoot down just one type of plane. But at the time Talos was being designed the MiG 15 was the greatest threat. It is interesting that the Talos missile/booster combination was only about two feet shorter than the MiG 15. The MiG 17 (very similar to the MiG 15) was also an "interceptor" and is the only aircraft to attack a Talos ship. This was in April 1972 off Dong Hoi, the ship was the USS Oklahoma City CLG-5, and the bombs missed. In that attack another MiG 17 dropped bombs on the USS Higbee, destroying a dual 5"/38 gun mount. So don't discount the threat to ships from an "interceptor" carrying bombs.

P. R. Hays LT USNR Retired. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Prhays (talkcontribs) 08:30, 12 March 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ USS Oklahoma City CL91 / CLG5 / CG5, retrieved 30 March 2009.

Chronology table[edit]

The Chronology table contains numerous errors. The numbers of launchers and radars shown for some ships is just absurd! For example, the USS Little Rock has two SPG-49 radars but the table lists 12! I think this has something to do with the NxTEXT used, but so far I haven't been able to find any guidance in the help pages. The types and numbers of launchers are also wrong in many cases.

Note: The radars are SPG-49 - the antennas are AN/SPG-49.

I have edited the table extensively to correct these mistakes but the edits do not appear and the same incorrect numbers reappear.

What do I have to do to correct these errors and make the corrections stick?

P.R. Hays Prhays (talk) 17:24, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Thank you for your contributions. I'm pleased to find another cruiser sailor editing Wikipedia. I was Tartar battery officer aboard USS Chicago from 1969 to 1972, and was in the weapons control section of CIC when Chicago's Talos downed the MiG during Operation Pocket Money.
I think you may be confused about the purpose of the table you have been editing. As indicated by the tabular column heading, this table is intended to focus on the total fleet inventory of Talos missile launchers and fire control systems rather than the individual ship's armament. The individual ship's Talos equipment can be determined from subtraction in the present format, but listing it in the way you propose would be a duplication because each ship is listed twice -- first at the time of commissioning with Talos equipment and again when it was decommissioned. You may add individual Talos ship specifications as a separate list or tabular format if you wish.
I'm uncertain about the RADAR/antenna differentiation you mention. I was under the impression the AN/ prefix indicated the following alphanumeric code was part of the Joint Army-Navy Nomenclature System specifying, in this instance, the shipboard fire-control RADAR, for which the antenna was a visually distinctive identification feature. Thewellman (talk) 18:26, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
Ah so! You are right. I was interpreting the table incorrectly. Sorry for the bother.
I have the Technical Manual for the AN/SPS-10B radar. It does refer to the entire radar set as AN/SPS-10B so you are right again. The antenna itself is actually the AS-936/SPS-10B. I have another source that says the AN/SPS-10 radars used several antennas - AS-615, AS-936A, AS-936B and AS-1161!
I was the Talos Nuclear Weapons Officer for the Oklahoma City from 1970-1972. Prhays (talk) 20:50, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Were you on the Chicago during the Talos RIM-8H anti-radar operations in January-February 1972? If so, please contact me through:

Thanks. Prhays (talk) 21:07, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Talos specifications[edit]

According to Navy/McDonnell/Bendix drawings I have the Talos RIM-8G through RIM-8J missile had the following dimensions:

Missile length = 254.366 inches

Missile body diameter = 28.000 inches

Missile wing span = 106.946 inches maximum

Booster length w/o fins = 132.041 inches

Booster length w/ fins 134.341 inches

Booster body diameter = 30.112 inches forward, 30.930 aft.

Booster fin span = 76.840 inches maximum

Note: These lengths are the mated lengths relative to the mating ring joining surfaces. Actually the booster was a bit longer than this - it had an arming mechanism and a mating ring release device that protruded forward of the mating ring into the nozzle of the missile when mated. The entire flight configuration missile+booster pair was 254.366 + 134.341 = 388.707 inches (9.873 meters).

I also have the SP1A/M1 data sheets for the Mk 11 Mod 2 booster that gives diameters of 30.125 inches (grain section) and 31.125 inches (nozzle section). The differences from the numbers above may be due to the fin mating surface which protruded slightly above the body surface. Total booster weight including fins is 4278 pounds. Maximum thrust is 128,700 lbf at 77°F. Total impulse is 596,000 lbf-sec at 77°F.

The absolutely best and most authoritative publication about the Talos missile is:

Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest, April-June 1982, Vol. 3, No. 2.

It has 15 articles written by the people in the Bumblebee Project who designed Talos at the Applied Physics Laboratory. The articles have a few errors. On page 122 they state that the USS Oklahoma City CG-5 was decommissioned in 1980 and that Talos served in the fleet for 22 years. In fact the OK City was decommissioned 15 December 1979, so the missile was operational for 21 years. Two different articles provide slightly different numbers about the SPW-2 operation.

In the "Evolution of the Talos Missile (pages 117 - 122) William Garten and Frank Dean describe the various evolutionary steps in Talos design. On page 122 they state that the RIM-8H ARM version had a range of 120 nautical miles and the RIM-8J had a range of 130 nautical miles.

In "The Unified Talos" Frank Dean has a "Kinematic Performance Envelope" diagram for Talos that shows a range of 118 nautical miles at 72,000 feet with JP-5 fuel and 132 nautical miles at 58,000 feet with RJ-4 dimer fuel.

The USS Oklahoma City CG-5 was the last ship to carry Talos missiles. I think the Long Beach had the Talos system removed in 1978. The Galveston was decommissioned in 1970, the Columbus in 1975, Little Rock in 1976 and Albany and Chicago in 1980. However, Albany and Chicago offloaded Talos missiles sometime in 1978 or 1979. The Oklahoma City fired the last Talos missile launched from a ship in November 1979 on the way to decommissioning. Prhays (talk) 22:24, 14 March 2017 (UTC)