14 Facts About SM-62 Snark


Northrop SM-62 Snark was an early-model intercontinental range ground-launched cruise missile that could carry a W39 thermonuclear warhead.

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The SM-62 Snark was deployed by the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command from 1958 through 1961.

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The SM-62 Snark was named by Jack Northrop and took its name from the author Lewis Carroll's character the "snark".

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The Snark was the only surface-to-surface cruise missile with such a long range that was ever deployed by the U S Air Force.

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Development of the heavy stellar navigation system intended for the N-25 SM-62 Snark was very difficult and required many hundreds of hours of flight aboard aircraft.

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SM-62 Snark, which was originally projected to become operational in 1953, suffered a protracted test program which involved significant redesigns.

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Development of the N-69 dragged on with many failures which caused wags to jest of the “SM-62 Snark Infested Waters” off Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

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Criticism of the SM-62 Snark grew from doubts by the Strategic Air Command, in 1951 to serious objections in 1954.

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Also in early 1954 the Strategic Missile Evaluation Committee concluded that the SM-62 Snark was an “overly complex” and would not become operational until “substantially later” than scheduled.

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Failure of the SM-62 Snark to achieve the necessary accuracy for the original W-8 nuclear weapon was offset somewhat by the change to the much more powerful W-39-Y1 Mod 1 thermonuclear bomb .

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SM-62 Snark was an air-breathing missile, intended to be launched from a truck-mounted platform by two solid-fueled rocket booster engines.

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The SM-62 Snark was propelled by an internal turbojet engine for the rest of its flight.

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Since the SM-62 Snark lacked a horizontal tail surface, it used elevons as its primary flight control surfaces, and it flew with an unusual nose-high angle during level flight.

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In March 1961, President John F Kennedy declared the Snark to be "obsolete and of marginal military value", and on 25 June 1961, the 702nd Wing was inactivated.

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