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Hermes A-1
Part of Wasserfall Family
Hermes A-1
Hermes A-1
The Army Hermes A-1 single stage test rocket was an American version of the German Wasserfall anti-aircraft rocket.

AKA: CTV-G-5;RV-A-5;SSM-A-15;SSM-G-15. Status: Retired 1951. First Launch: 1950-05-19. Last Launch: 1951-04-26. Number: 5 . Thrust: 71.00 kN (15,961 lbf). Gross mass: 3,025 kg (6,668 lb). Height: 7.77 m (25.49 ft). Diameter: 0.86 m (2.82 ft). Span: 2.49 m (8.16 ft). Apogee: 25 km (15 mi).

Development began in 1946 of an American version of the German Wasserfall rocket. Problems with the rocket engine delayed the first (failed) launch to May. Another failure in September 1950 was followed by a success on 2 February 1951. After two more tests in March and April the program was terminated in 1951, having been rendered irrelevant by more successful development of the Nike Ajax surface-to-air missile.

Maximum range: 65 km (40 mi).

Historical Essay © Andreas Parsch

After several configurations for the Hermes A-1 surface-to-air missile had been studied, it was decided in 1946 to base the missile on the war-time German Wasserfall SAM. However, after the SAM-N-7-MIM-3 Nike project had been started in the same year, the Hermes A-1 was redefined as a pure test vehicle for guidance and control systems. During 1947 and 1948, component flight testing took place on V-2s, but problems with the rocket engine delayed the launch of the first Hermes A-1 (designated CTV-G-5 in early 1948) until 1950. After two failures in May and September 1950, the first fully successful flight occurred on 2 February 1951, followed by two more tests in March and April that year. This concluded the flight test program of the CTV-G-5, which was formally redesignated as RV-A-5 in mid-1951.

The CTV-G-5's aerodynamic characteristics, its propulsion system, and its radio-command guidance system were considered satisfactory. During 1950, improved versions of the CTV-G-5 were studied (as Hermes A-1E1 and Hermes A-1E2), and the designation SSM-G-15 (formally changed to SSM-A-15 in mid-1951) was reserved for a tactical surface-to-surface version of the Hermes A-1. However, the SSM-G-15 proposal was very short-lived, and in May 1950 the Hermes A-1 was again and finally reduced to a pure research program. No XSSM-G-15 missile was built as such, but it appears that one Hermes A-1E1 was assembled but not flown. The whole Hermes A-1 program was officially terminated in October 1951, when the focus for liquid-fueled rocket-powered Hermes development had shifted to the Hermes A-3.



Family: Storable liquid, tactical ballistic. Country: USA. Launch Vehicles: Hermes A-1. Propellants: Nitric acid/Amine. Launch Sites: White Sands LC33, White Sands. Agency: GE.

1950 May 19 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC33. LV Family: Wasserfall. Launch Vehicle: Hermes A-1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). First Army Hermes A-1 test rocket fired at WSPG..

1950 September 14 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC33. LV Family: Wasserfall. Launch Vehicle: Hermes A-1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1951 February 8 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC33. LV Family: Wasserfall. Launch Vehicle: Hermes A-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 24 km (14 mi).

1951 March 15 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC33. LV Family: Wasserfall. Launch Vehicle: Hermes A-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 24 km (14 mi).

1951 April 26 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC33. LV Family: Wasserfall. Launch Vehicle: Hermes A-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 24 km (14 mi).


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