It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The Mace was a development of the TM-61 Matador missile, and as such was initially designated TM-61B Matador B. The main reasons for the new development were the Matador's radio-controlled guidance system, which was limited in range and easily jammable, and the fact that the Matador missile system was very cumbersome to move and set up for firing.
The Mace missile had redesigned airframe, with smaller wings and a longer fuselage. The larger internal volume increased range to about 1300 km (800 miles). Additionally, the missile was transported fully assembled (except booster) on its zero-length launch trailer.
The Regulus II, designated "SSM-N-9" and later "RGM-15", was a sleek, pretty dart of a missile, with swept wings and no tailplane like the Regulus I, but with the air intake under the belly ahead of the wings and small canard fins on the nose. The wings and tailfin folded for storage. Preliminary design work began in 1951, with Vought submitting a proposal to the Navy in late 1952, and the Navy awarding the company a development contract in April 1954, specifying construction of prototypes.
The initial prototypes were fitted with retractable tricycle landing gear and a drag parachute, allowing them to take off and land from an airstrip, and were powered in cruise flight by a Curtiss-Wright J65 turbojet, an American copy of the British Sapphire engine. The Sapphire was strictly an interim fit, however, since it could not support sustained supersonic flight, and production missiles were fitted with a General Electric J79 afterburning turbojet engine with 66.7 kN (6,800 kgp / 15,000 lbf) thrust.
Production missiles were launched off a rail by a solid-fuel booster rocket with 512 kN (52,160 kgp / 115,000 lbf) thrust. The Regulus II flew in continuous afterburner, operating at high altitude in supersonic cruise at Mach 2 plus. It had a large fuel supply to provide the required range and featured an automatic fuel trim system. The Regulus II was guided by an INS. The warhead separated during terminal dive to target. This made interception more difficult, and also eliminated the need to stress the airframe to tolerate a dive into the target.
Initial flight of a prototype was on 29 May 1956, at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The first rocket-boosted launch was on 13 November 1957, also from Edwards.