AKA: SSM-N-6. Status: Cancelled 1953. Payload: 1,360 kg (2,990 lb). Thrust: 142.10 kN (31,945 lbf). Gross mass: 11,800 kg (26,000 lb). Height: 14.05 m (46.09 ft). Diameter: 1.14 m (3.74 ft). Span: 4.05 m (13.28 ft). Apogee: 18 km (11 mi).
Rigel was begun by the US Navy in 1946. The aim was to produce a solid-rocket boosted, twin-ramjet powered, ship-launched supersonic cruise missile to attack shore targets at a range of 930 km (500 nm). Work began with simple single-ramjet test vehicles. Flights of twin-ramjet test vehicles began in May 1950. After repeated test launch failures, and success of the less ambitious Regulus subsonic cruise missile, Rigel was cancelled in August 1953.
Production missiles would have been equipped with two wingtip-mounted Marquardt 71 cm (28 in) ramjets and four solid rocket boosters. A CEP of 550 m was planned using a modified LORAN guidance system, requiring two submarines with radio beacons to be deployed along the missile's path. The Regulus II, which began development two months before Rigel was cancelled, was supersonic using proven turbojet technology, and equipped with autonomous inertial navigation.
Development Cost $: 38.000 million in 1948 dollars. Maximum range: 890 km (550 mi). Boost Propulsion: Solid rocket. Cruise Thrust: 52.900 kN (11,892 lbf). Cruise Thrust: 5,400 kgf. Maximum speed: 2,260 kph (1,400 mph). Initial Operational Capability: 1953.