Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 1: Early Missiles and Drones
Copyright © 2003-2005 Andreas Parsch

Martin AAM-N-4 Oriole

In 1947, Martin was awarded a development contract for the AAM-N-4 Oriole, an air-to-air missile for carrier-based aircraft. The Oriole was powered by a solid-propellant rocket motor and used an active radar homing guidance system. Range is quoted as 8-16 km (5-10 miles) and the maximum launching altitude was 16 km (10 miles).

Photo: © Brian Lockett, Goleta Air & Space Museum

The Oriole program progressed to flight tests of XAAM-N-4 prototypes, but the tactical missile development program had already been cancelled in 1948, possibly in favour of the more immediately promising AAM-N-2/AIM-7 Sparrow. From 1950 until about 1955, Oriole missiles were used as general research and test vehicles under the RV-N-16 designation.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for XAAM-N-4:

Length3.53 m (11 ft 7 in)
Finspan0.99 m (3 ft 2.8 in)
Diameter28 cm (11 in)
Weight180 kg (400 lb)
SpeedMach 2
Range16 km (10 miles)
PropulsionSolid-fueled rocket
WarheadHigh explosive

Main Sources

[1] Norman Friedman: "US Naval Weapons", Conway Maritime Press, 1983
[2] Frederick I. Ordway III, Ronald C. Wakeford: "International Missile and Spacecraft Guide", McGraw-Hill, 1960
[3] Bill Gunston: "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rockets and Missiles", Salamander Books Ltd, 1979

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 1

Last Updated: 17 September 2005