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When the Convair XB-70 Valkyrie Mach 3 bomber was developed in the late 1950s, the U.S. Air Force was faced with the problem of how to defend it against existing and future soviet air-defense weapons. It was expected that the B-70's high operating speed and altitude would not make it immune from nuclear-tipped surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles. The proposed solution was the DAMS (Defensive Anti-Missile System).
The DAMS would have to use an extremely fast and manoeuverable missile to intercept fighters and missiles approaching at relative speeds of up to Mach 7 (as could be the case for a head-on attack). One possible solution was a radical missile design developed under project Pye Wacket (see source  for an explanation of the peculiar name) since 1958. The Pye Wacket missile was a basically circular flying disc, and was formally called the Lenticular Defense Missile (LDM). This shape showed high supersonic stability and lift even at extreme angles of attack, and its evenly distributed mass made the needed super-agility possible. The LDM was originally designed and studied by the Air Proving Ground Center at Eglin AFB and the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC). In June 1959, Convair received a contract to continue development.
Early wind test mosel
later wind test model
The characteristics of the LDM apparently evolved somewhat over time, and a USAF report from the later phase of the program describes it as being 1.8 m (70 in) in diameter, 23 cm (9 in) deep and weighing 230 kg (510 lb). Two solid-fueled rocket motors of 45.4 kN (10200 lb) thrust propelled the missile to a speed of Mach 6.5, and maximum range was about 133 km (72 nm).