In June 1953, Vought received a contract to develop a supersonic successor to the “Regulus“ sub-sonic cruise missile. The new missile, named “Regulus II”, received the designation SSM-N-9. The first flight of a “Regulus II” took place in 1956. Two years later the government terminated the program in December 1958, in favor of the more advanced Polaris ballistic missile. After the project cancellation, Vought converted some of the remaining “Regulus II” missiles to supersonic target drones. These drones continued to fly until 1963.
Chance-Vought SSM-N-9 "Regulus II"
Did you know?
The "Regulus II" was designed to be launched from the deck of either a surfaced submarine or a guided-missile cruiser. It could deliver a conventional or a nuclear warhead at Mach 2 speed.
About our Missile
Following a lead provided by the historian David Stumpf, volunteers from the Chance-Vought “Retiree Club” found a surviving “Regulus II” airframe at the New England Aviation Museum at Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Located outside the museum and buried in the mud, the unit was in poor condition. Volunteers determined that this specific missile was GM-2048, the last “Regulus II” to fly, and the last surviving missile modified as a target drone.
The Navy agreed to hand over GM-2048 to the Retiree Club for restoration. The Retiree Club shipped it back to the Vought Aircraft Industries factory in Grand Prairie, Texas, where Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation Volunteers restored the missile.
"Regulus II" GM-2048 is on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum.
Video restored by Jeff Quitney.