MGM-1 Matador

MGM-1 Matador

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The Martin MGM-1 Matador was the first operational surface-to-surface cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

 built by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It was similar in concept to the German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 V-1, but the Matador included a radio link that allowed in-flight course corrections. This allowed accuracy to be maintained over greatly extended ranges of just under 1000 km. To allow these ranges, the Matador was powered by a small turbojet engine in place of the V-1's much less efficient pulsejet.

When originally introduced, the Air Force referred to them as bomber
Bomber
A bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground and sea targets, by dropping bombs on them, or – in recent years – by launching cruise missiles at them.-Classifications of bombers:...

s, and assigned them the B-61 designation. It was later re-designated "TM-61", for "tactical missile", and finally "'MGM-1" when the US Department of Defence introduced the Joint Designation System in 1963.

History


The first flight of Matador, model XSSM-A-1, occurred at the White Sands Missile Range
White Sands Missile Range
White Sands Missile Range is a rocket range of almost in parts of five counties in southern New Mexico. The largest military installation in the United States, WSMR includes the and the WSMR Otera Mesa bombing range...

 on 20 January 1949. The first two production B-61 Matador missiles arrived at Eglin AFB, Florida, in September 1953, under the control of the 6555th Guided Missile Squadron, for climatic testing, although instrumentation and pre-test check-outs kept the actual cold-weather tests from beginning until November. At the end of 1953 the first squadron was operational, but not deployed until 1954, as the 1st Pilotless Bomber Squadron
1st Tactical Missile Squadron
The 1st Tactical Missile Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 585th Tactical Missile Group and stationed at Bitburg Air Base, West Germany. It was inactivated on 18 June 1958.-History:...

, Bitburg Air Base
Bitburg Air Base
Bitburg Airport is a commercial airport serving Bitburg, a city in the Rhineland-Palatinate state of Germany. It is located 2 miles southeast of Bitburg, 20 miles north of Trier, and 135 miles west of Wiesbaden....

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 with the B-61A armed with the W5 nuclear warhead
Mark 5 nuclear bomb
The Mark 5 nuclear bomb and W5 nuclear warhead were a common core nuclear weapon design, designed in the early 1950s and which saw service from 1952 to 1963....

. The missile was capable of carrying a 2000 pound conventional warhead, but it is unknown if any of these were actually deployed. By the late 1950s at least, all Matadors carried the nuclear warhead.

The last Matadors were removed from active service in 1962, with a total of 1200 missiles produced. At that time, they were deployed in squadrons at Bitburg AB, West Germany, in Tainan, Taiwan, and in various locations in South Korea. The specific maintenance training schools were in at the Glenn L. Martin factory and Lowry AFB, both in Denver Colorado, while the Launch Training was at Orlando AFB, FL (later transferred to the US Navy and renamed NTC Orlando) and Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida. When the Tainan squadrons were deactivated, the airframes were made non-flyable by chopping out the attachment points in the bulkheads of the fuselage sections with axes, and were sold locally as scrap after having the warheads removed. Most of the vehicles—consisting mainly of 2½ and 5-ton trucks, were disposed of on the local market. Presumably, the other sites similarly disposed of their missiles and equipment.

Guidance


The missile was piloted via radio link and tracked via a network of ground-based AN/MSQ-1 radar stations. This guidance system, with its line-of-sight communications, limited the guided range to about 400 km (248.5 mi). As with all radio communications it was also prone to enemy jamming. While in theory the missile could be "handed off" in flight from one guidance station to the next, in practice that was rarely successful, and deployed missiles did not attempt it.

In 1954 the USAF started to develop the YTM-61C version which was equipped with the new Shanicle (Short Range Navigation Vehicle) guidance system. It became operational in 1957 and used ground-based microwave
Microwave
Microwaves, a subset of radio waves, have wavelengths ranging from as long as one meter to as short as one millimeter, or equivalently, with frequencies between 300 MHz and 300 GHz. This broad definition includes both UHF and EHF , and various sources use different boundaries...

 emitters to generate hyperbolic grids for range and azimuth, which were used by the missile steering system to navigate. Now the guided range could be extended to the maximum flight range of the missile, about 620 miles (997.8 km). Anecdotal evidence indicated that the Shanicle system was very accurate, with stories of one missile flying into the ground in the same crater left by a previous missile during an early exercise in North Africa. These may or may not be true, but in any case the Shanicle system was soon discontinued on operational missiles. By the late 50's, all were using the MSQ-1 (called "MisCue-1" by the crews) ground-based guidance system.

A unique identifying feature of the TM-61C variant was the raised rear section of the fuselage above the jet exhaust, called the "doghouse" by those who were assigned to the missile squadrons. This had originally housed the Shanicle electronics, but was retained when those systems were removed. The "doghouse" had no access panels or doors and was an aerodynamic structural component added to TM-61C and TM-76A to prevent missile "shudder" and breakup during terminal dive. It contained no functional components. The operational Matadors were zinc chromate green in their final versions, but this doghouse was quite often left natural aluminum, as were the wings and tail group.

Launch crew



The Matador launch crew consisted of eleven members. One Launch Officer, who was usually a 1st Lieutenant (O-2) or a junior Captain (O-3), one Crew Chief, usually a Technical Sergeant
Technical Sergeant
Technical Sergeant is the name of one current and two former enlisted ranks in the United States military.-United States Air Force:Technical Sergeant, or Tech Sergeant, is the sixth enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force, just above Staff Sergeant and below Master Sergeant. A technical sergeant is...

 (E-6), two Warhead techs, two Flight Control Systems techs, two Guidance techs, two Airframe and Engine techs—one of whom doubled as the crane operator and the other as the launcher tech, and one Booster Rocket tech. Since the missile was at least theoretically "mobile", all launch equipment was mounted on trucks and trailers. As a result, in addition to their primary duties, most crew members were trained as and doubled as drivers. All enlisted members other than the Crew Chief were usually Airman Second Class (E-3) or Airman
Airman
An airman is a member of the air component of a nation's armed service. In the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force , it can also refer to a specific enlisted rank...

 (E-2) on their first enlistment, though there were sometimes Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
Staff sergeant is a rank of non-commissioned officer used in several countries.The origin of the name is that they were part of the staff of a British army regiment and paid at that level rather than as a member of a battalion or company.-Australia:...

s (E-5) or even Technical Sergeant
Technical Sergeant
Technical Sergeant is the name of one current and two former enlisted ranks in the United States military.-United States Air Force:Technical Sergeant, or Tech Sergeant, is the sixth enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force, just above Staff Sergeant and below Master Sergeant. A technical sergeant is...

s (E-6) who had already served multiple enlistments. In addition, there were similarly-sized Guidance crews on remote sites, and a maintenance staff for the missiles, the guidance equipment, and the vehicles. Because of the number of people required to support the missile, a "mobile" Matador squadron with five launch crews could grow quite cumbersome. As a result, the squadrons were soon deployed at fixed sites and the idea of a mobile missile was abandoned.

A single Matador missile required many vehicles to move it and its associated support equipment. There was a Transport Vehicle, which was a short wheelbase semi-trailer which carried the missile with the wings removed and attached alongside the fuselage, a Launcher, which was a semi-trailer more than 40 feet (12.2 m) long weighing more than 30,000 pounds. There was a Target Selection Van, a Warhead Van, a 60 kW diesel generator, a tug, a hydraulic unit, a mobile Blockhouse, and a truck-mounted hydraulic crane. There were several 2½ and 5 ton trucks (tractor type) to attach to and tow the launchers, Transport Vehicle, and generator. In some squadrons, each launch team had a large trailer in which it stored weapons, ammunition and supplies.

A typical missile launch site had an active, or "hot" pad on which was kept the missile most ready to launch. This pad was manned by the on-duty launch crew. According to the book, this required 15 minutes to do, but some crews could accomplish it in slightly more than 6 minutes. The site usually had a backup pad, on which was a missile which would require somewhat more effort to get it launched. This pad was manned by the standby crew, and if they were on site, could usually be ready to launch in 20–30 minutes. If there was a third pad, it may not have a missile on it at all. If one of the off-duty crews could make it to the launch site in time, they would try to get a missile onto the launcher there, and get it ready to go. Since all launch sites were within just a few minutes flying time of the potential enemy, it was unlikely that the third missile would actually launch, but all crews had multiple practice drills during their periods as duty and standby crews, trying to reduce the time needed to get the missiles away.

Often, these drills were accompanied by a flyover of a T-33
T-33 Shooting Star
The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star is an American-built jet trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948, piloted by Tony LeVier. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the...

 aircraft on which was mounted the MSQ-1 guidance system. F-100 Super Sabre
F-100 Super Sabre
The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a supersonic jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard until 1979. The first of the Century Series collection of USAF jet fighters, it was the first USAF fighter capable of...

s from the 36th and 50th TFW
50th Space Wing
The 50th Space Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force under the major command of Air Force Space Command . It was activated on 30 January 1992, replacing the 2d Space Wing, which was deactivated on the same date.-Overview:...

s were normally used for launch simulation exercises. This aircraft would fly over the launch pad at very low altitude and then simulate the flight profile of the missile under the control of the Guidance crews. This gave the Guidance crews needed practice controlling a missile in flight, as well as giving squadron officers some flight time.

The Matador flight profile was very simple and predictable, which no doubt contributed to its demise. When the Launch Officer pressed the two launch switches, the RATO bottle fired, accelerating the missile to 250 miles per hour in the space of two and a half seconds, at which point it had flown about a quarter mile. At this point the RATO bottle fell away and the missile continued on a preset heading and rate of climb until it was acquired up by the guidance crews and their equipment. The missile had no altitude or speed control, continuing to fly as fast as possible, climbing as the fuel load was burned off, until it reached its maximum altitude. At a point about six miles (10 km) from the intended target, the guidance crews sent the "dump" signal, which caused the missile to nose over into what was called the "terminal dive". This dive was near vertical, continuing until the missile reached the preset detonation altitude as determined by the radio altimeter, at which point the weapon exploded. Should the radio altimeter fail, a backup barometric detonator was used. Should that fail, there was an impact detonator.

As with all missiles and bombers of the day, accuracy was not good in today's terms. Anything within a mile was considered a hit. Even though the missile was classified as a "tactical" weapon, in fact it was not technically capable of hitting individual targets, so it was likely targeted at cities near which a military installation such as an airfield existed. Actual targets were classified of course, and kept from everyone except the actual guidance officer.

Variants and design stages

  • MX-771: Original U.S. Air Force project number.
  • SSM-A-1: Early proposed designation for operational missile. This designation was dropped before the first operational missiles were completed.
  • XSSM-A-1: First designation applied to first prototypes for development of the missile airframe.
  • YSSM-A-1: First designation applied to prototypes for development of the guidance system.
  • B-61: Operational designation proposed to supersede SSM-A-1 designation. This designation was designed to classify the missile as a pilotless bomber.
  • XB-61: Redesignation of the XSSM-A-1
  • YB-61: Redesignation of the YSSM-A-1
  • B-61A: First production version of the Matador. Principal difference from the XB-61 and YB-61 was redesign of the airframe with high wings in place of the previous mid-mounted wings.
  • TM-61A: Redesignation of the B-61A as the USAF decided to classify the Matador as a tactical missile instead of a pilotless bomber.
  • TM-61B: Significant redesign of the TM-61A, ultimately being redesignated as its own system, the TM-76 Mace.
  • TM-61C: Improved TM-61A developed as a stop-gap as the TM-61B was under development.
  • MGM-1C: Redesignation of the TM-61C in 1963 to meet new aircraft and missile designation standards adopted by the USAF. Only the TM-61C required redesignation as the TM-61A had been fully withdrawn from service and the TM-61B had been redesignated the TM-76 Mace, and ultimately received the MGM-13 designation.

Operators


: The United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

  • 38th Tactical Missile Wing
    38th Combat Support Wing
    The 38th Combat Support Wing is an inactive wing of the United States Air Force. Its last assignment was with Third Air Force , being inactivated on 1 May 2007 at Ramstein Air Base, Germany....

    • 1st Pilotless Bomber Squadron
      1st Tactical Missile Squadron
      The 1st Tactical Missile Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 585th Tactical Missile Group and stationed at Bitburg Air Base, West Germany. It was inactivated on 18 June 1958.-History:...

       - Bitburg AB, Germany
      Germany
      Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    • 2d Pilotless Bomber Squadron
      69th Tactical Missile Squadron
      The 69th Tactical Missile Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last was assigned to the 586th Tactical Missile Group, stationed at Hahn Air Base, West Germany. It was inactivated on 18 June 1958.-History:...

       - Hahn AB, Germany
      Germany
      Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    • 69th Tactical Missile Squadron
      69th Tactical Missile Squadron
      The 69th Tactical Missile Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last was assigned to the 586th Tactical Missile Group, stationed at Hahn Air Base, West Germany. It was inactivated on 18 June 1958.-History:...

  • 58th Tactical Missile Group
    • 11th Tactical Missile Squadron
    • 71st Tactical Missile Squadron


Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

: Bundeswehr
Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

  • Flugkörpergruppe 11

Survivors



Below is a list of museums which have a Matador missile in their collection:
  • Air Force Space & Missile Museum
    Air Force Space & Missile Museum
    The Air Force Space & Missile Museum is located at Launch Complex 26 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. It includes artifacts from the early American space program and includes an outdoor rocket garden displaying rockets, missiles and space-related equipment chronicling the US Air...

    , Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
    Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
    Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is an installation of the United States Air Force Space Command's 45th Space Wing, headquartered at nearby Patrick Air Force Base. Located on Cape Canaveral in the state of Florida, CCAFS is the primary launch head of America's Eastern Range with four launch pads...

    , Florida
    Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

  • Carolinas Aviation Museum
    Carolinas Aviation Museum
    The Carolinas Aviation Museum is an aviation museum on the grounds of Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina. The mission of the Museum is to educate the public about the importance of aviation to our society and inspire the next generation to excel academically in the...

    , Charlotte, North Carolina (this Matador was formerly on display at the Florence Air & Missile Museum
  • Museum of Aviation
    Museum of Aviation
    The Museum of Aviation is the second-largest aerospace museum of the United States Air Force. The museum is located just outside Warner Robins, Georgia, and near Robins Air Force Base. It has a total of five different buildings containing 93 different aircraft on . The SR-71A Blackbird on display...

    , Robins Air Force Base
    Robins Air Force Base
    Robins Air Force Base is a major United States Air Force base located in Houston County, Georgia, United States. The base is located just east of and adjacent to the city of Warner Robins, Georgia, SSE of Macon, Georgia, and about SSE of Atlanta, Georgia...

    , Georgia
    Georgia (U.S. state)
    Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

     TM-61A Serial #52-1891
  • National Air & Space Museum, Dulles International Airport
  • National Museum of the United States Air Force
    National Museum of the United States Air Force
    The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the official museum of the United States Air Force located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base northeast of Dayton, Ohio. The NMUSAF is the world's largest and oldest military aviation museum with more than 360 aircraft and missiles on display...

    , Dayton, Ohio
  • A "Bitburg"-Matador survives as a Missile Monument at the former 38th Combat Support Wing GLCM station "Pydna" at Wüschheim, Germany
  • Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr
    Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr
    The Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr , together with the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr, is one of the major military history museums in Germany. The museum acts as an independent military department...

    , Berlin, Germany
  • National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico, United States. It is the county seat of Bernalillo County and is situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande. The city population was 545,852 as of the 2010 Census and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. As...

  • A TM-61C Matador, Serial # 56-1955 is on display near Pikeville, NC in the parking lot of a church.
  • Former USAF base Pydna, near Kastellaun
    Kastellaun
    -Climate:Yearly precipitation in Kastellaun amounts to 755 mm, which falls into the middle third of the precipitation chart for all Germany. At 53% of the German Weather Service’s weather stations, lower figures recorded. The driest month is April. The most rainfall comes in June. In that...

    , Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

     

Specifications (MGM-1C)



See also


External links