JB-3 Tiamat

JB-3 Tiamat.jpg
Type Air-to-air missile
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1944-1947
Used by United States Army Air Forces
Production history
Designed 1944
Manufacturer Hughes Aircraft
Weight 600 lb (270 kg)
Length 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)
Warhead High explosive
Warhead weight 500 pounds (230 kg)

Engine Dual-thrust solid rocket motor
Boost, 7,200 lbf (32 kN) for 3.5 sec
Sustain, 200 lbf (0.89 kN) for 45 sec
Speed 600 miles per hour (970 km/h)
Semi-active radar homing
A-26 Invader
References Ordway and Wakeford [1]

The JB-3 Tiamat, also designated MX-570, was an early air-to-air missile developed by Hughes Aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Regarded as a purely experimental vehicle, test launches took place for several years before the program was terminated.

Design and development

The Tiamat project began in January 1944, when a contract was awarded to Hughes Aircraft by the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) for development of an experimental subsonic, solid-fueled air-to-air missile. [1] Developed in cooperation with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), Tiamat was a large missile of vaguely dart-like shape and proportion, 14 feet 4 inches (4.37 m) in length and weighing 600 pounds (270 kg), with three large stabilizing and control fins at the aft end of the missile body. The rocket motor was a boost-sustain dual-thrust type, providing 7,200  lbf (32  kN) of thrust for 3.5 seconds, followed by 200 lbf (0.89 kN) for 45 seconds of cruising flight at 600 miles per hour (970 km/h). [1] Launched from a A-26 Invader light bomber, [1] Tiamat would use semi-active radar homing to track enemy aircraft, [2] and a proximity fuze was fitted for detonation of the missile's 500 lb (230 kg) warhead. [1]

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