The Navy Bumblebee program was created at the end of WW-II to develop a defense against the Japanese kamikaze threat. The program was to develop a jet propelled, guided anti-aircraft missile. The result was the Navy’s 3-T Missiles – Talos, Terrier and Tartar.

While initial efforts were concentrated on developing the Talos ram-jet engine, a solid rocket propelled test vehicle to develop missile steering designs was recognized as capable of providing a simpler interim weapon for smaller ships, resulting in the Terrier two stage missile and the later single stage Tartar with solid fuel dual thrust rocket motor.

The Talos was first tested at White Sands in 1951 while Terrier and Tartar testing was relocated from China Lake CA in the early 1960s.+

Declassified Documents

blank SemiAnnual Report of Bumblebee Project, July-December 1949 [54 Pages, 2.83MB] – The end of 1949 marks the completion of the first five years of the BUMBLEBEE program. It is gratifying to note that the objectives originally scheduled for this five-year period have come reasonably close to realization.

blank Survey of Bumblebee Activities, July 1952 [52 Pages, 3.25MB] – The general objective of the BUMBLEBEE project, initiated in 1945, has been the developmentof a radar-guided, ramjet-propelled, supersonic missile (Talos). Originally limited to antiaircraftapplication, BUMBLEBEE has been extended to include a long-range, ship-launched, guided bom.bardment missile (Triton) as well as a short-range, solid-rocket-propelled antiaircraft missile(Terrier). These missile objectives have been the outgrowth of a research and development programin basic fields of science related to a guided missile technology.

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