In the late 1940s, the U.S. Army and the
U.S. Navy competed for funds to develop a medium-range jet-powered missile
capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The Army's weapon was the Matador,
while the Navy develop the Regulus. Visually, the two weapons were nearly
identical. The Regulus had the advantage of being faster and easier to
launch since its two JATO solid rocket boosters came attached, whereas
the Matador's boosters needed to be mounted at the launch site. The Regulus
was also recoverable, whereas the Matador was only good for a single use,
which made testing the Regulus far less expensive in the long-term.
The 33,000-pound Regulus I first flew in
March 1951, was successfully launched from a submarine (the USS Tunny)
in July 1953, and became operational in 1955. The last Regulus I was delivered
in January 1959, and the whole system was declared obsolete and decommissioned
in August 1964.
The final version of this historic missile
could carry 3.8 megaton nuclear warhead 575 miles at a speed of Mach 0.87.
below: the assembled kit;
the trailor was include only in the first boxes. from 2006 a base is include.