Author Topic: German V-1 to Regulus to Polaris missile progression - Scott Manley  (Read 995 times)

Offline catdlr

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The First Nuclear Missile Launched From Submarines - And How It Lead To Polaris

Nov 30, 2023
How the US Navy went from a copy of the German V-1 missile to the Polaris missile!
In the 1940's the US quickly started copying the German V-1 missile and after the war developed a submarine able to launch it, but advancing technology delivered the more capable Regulus missile. Submarines were built with special hangars to support this new weapon, and development began on the supersonic Regulus II. But, in a few years Regulus was rendered obsolete as rockets got bigger and nuclear warheads got smaller - the Polaris would become the standard design for submarine launched missiles. The Regulus would be converted into a target drone for the remainder of its operational life.

It's Tony De La Rosa, ...I don't create this stuff, I just report it.

Offline DaveJ576

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Regulus I was a limited capability weapon system. It was only destined to be a stop-gap until the much more capable Regulus II came on line. Had Regulus II become fully operational and fully deployed it would have been a highly capable attack weapon. In the end, the Regulus program was cut short because a SLBM (i.e. Polaris) was a much better idea with greater flexibility. As potent as Regulus II might have been, the Navy made a wise choice cancelling the whole program in favor of Polaris.

In regards to the submarines, with the exception of the nuclear powered Halibut, the four conventionally powered Regulus submarines made very difficult deterrent patrols in stormy Northern Pacific waters. Often times the patrols were back to back, as the boats did not operate under the Blue-Gold two crew system of the Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) submarines. It was hard on the crews and on the boats, but they all performed superbly until the FBM boats came fully on-line.

The Regulus program is a fascinating one that left an enduring legacy.
"We have a pitch and a roll program and man this baby is really going!"


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