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

NBS/McDonnell AUM-N-6 Puffin

The Puffin was part of the Kingfisher family of guided anti-ship/anti-submarine weapons, which was developed under the prime contract of the National Bureau of Standards (NBS). Originally begun as Kingfisher F in February 1947, it was redesignated in September that year as AUM-6 (AUM-N-6 from early 1948) Puffin. The development of Puffin was subcontracted by the NBS to McDonnell, and flight tests of XAUM-N-6 prototypes occurred in the 1948/49 time frame.

Photo: Boeing

The XAUM-N-6 was basically a lightweight homing torpedo in a simple airframe with straight wings, a V-type tailplane, a pulsejet for propulsion, and a radar seeker. After launch from medium altitude, the missile would drop to about 60 m (200 ft) and home on the target (a surface ship or a surfaced submarine) using its active radar homing guidance system. Shortly before the target was reached, the torpedo would drop into the water for its terminal run on the target vessel.

The AUM-N-6 program was short-lived, though, and development was halted in October 1949.


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

Data for XAUM-N-6:

Weight590 kg (1300 lb)
SpeedMach 0.7
Range32 km (20 miles)
PropulsionMcDonnell pulsejet
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: 6 January 2003