The original caption for this photograph reads, “Another addition to the arsenal of sleek and deadly guided missiles, the GAM-63 Rascal air-to-surface rocket rests on the carrier which is used to load it into the carrier aircraft. Built by the Bell Aircraft Corporation of Buffalo, New York, the Rascal is virtually a “flying bomb” which can be released from an airplane miles from its target and proceed to its destination even while the plane is returning to base. Capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the new missiles are controlled by a guidance system which is close to human intelligence.”
Development of the Rascal, a forerunner of today’s cruise missiles, began in 1946. The program was canceled in March 1956, when the Air Force decided to favor the development of larger and longer range ballistic missiles. The Rascal would have carried the W5 warhead, which had a yield of 11 to 47 kilotons. The total program cost was $3.2 billion dollars (in constant 1996 dollars).
Credit: United Press (courtesy Center for Defense Information)