SSM-N-6 Rigel
TypeCruise missile
Place of originUnited States
Service history
Used byUnited States Navy
Production history
Mass23,800 pounds (10,800 kg) (with boosters)
13,000 pounds (5,900 kg) (w/o boosters)
Length46 feet 1 inch (14.05 m)
Diameter3.75 feet (1.14 m)
Wingspan13 feet 4 inches (4.06 m)
Warhead3,000 pounds (1,400 kg) such as the W5 warhead

Engine2 × Marquardt 28 ramjet 6,000 lbf (27 kN)
4 × booster rockets 8,000 lbf (36 kN)
500 nautical miles (926 km)
Maximum speed Mach 2

The SSM-N-6 Rigel was a proposed United States Navy submarine-launched, nuclear-capable ramjet-powered cruise missile.


The Rigel missile was named after Rigel, the brightest star in the constellation Orion.[1]


In 1946 the US Navy sanctioned development of the Rigel missile as a sub-launched supersonic weapon to attack enemy shores, in parallel with development of the subsonic SSM-N-8 Regulus.[2] The SSM-N-6 was to be launched by means of 4 rocket boosters and a catapult, with two ramjets for the cruise mode of the flight.

Several Rigel test articles were built to test the planned ramjet system for the Rigel missile. They had a single ramjet and a single rocket booster.[2] Subsequently, scaled-down Flight Test Vehicles (FTVs) were built with a configuration similar to the full-scale missile, and the first FTV launch occurred in May 1950. Unfortunately, plans to build the SSM-N-6 missiles were cancelled because the failure of FTV flight tests, but also due to the fact that Rigel posed a problem for submariners by requiring a longer launch rail on submarines than the SSM-N-8 Regulus.[2]


United States Navy (planned)

See also


  1. ^ Yenne, Bill (2018). A Complete History of U.S. Cruise Missiles. Forest Lake, MN: Specialty Press. p. 61. ISBN 978-1-58007-256-4.
  2. ^ a b c "Grumman SSM-N-6 Rigel".