Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
Copyright © 2004 Andreas Parsch


The Jaguar air-launched three-stage sounding rocket was developed by U.S. Air Force's ARDC (Air Research & Development Center). The first stage of the vehicle consisted of a cluster of three Thiokol Recruit rockets, which were fitted with three relatively large stabilizing fins. The second stage consisted of a single Recruit, while a Thiokol 5.4KS1975 ("Baby Sergeant") motor was used as third stage. The Jaguar was fired from a pylon on a modified B-57A aircraft, which pulled up into a near vertical position prior to launch. With a payload of 16 kg (35 lb), the rocket could reach an altitude of about 800 km (500 miles).

Photo: via Ordway/Wakeford

The ARDC conducted only two test launches of the Jaguar, one in 1960 and one in 1961. No information about the level of success is available, but the results were obviously not too exciting, because the Jaguar program was terminated thereafter.


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

Data for Jaguar:

Length8.03 m (26 ft 4.1 in)
Diameter1st stage: 53 cm (21 in)
2nd stage: 23 cm (9 in)
3rd stage: 16.3 cm (6.4 in)
Weight725 kg (1600 lb)
Altitude800 km (500 miles)
Propulsion1st stage: 3x Thiokol XM19 Recruit solid-fueled rocket; 156 kN (35000 lb) each for 1.5 s
2nd stage: Thiokol XM19 Recruit solid-fueled rocket; 156 kN (35000 lb) for 1.5 s
3rd stage: Thiokol 5.4KS1975 "Baby Sergeant" solid-fueled rocket; 8.8 kN (1975 lb) for 5.4 s

Main Sources

[1] Frederick I. Ordway III, Ronald C. Wakeford: "International Missile and Spacecraft Guide", McGraw-Hill, 1960
[2] Mark Wade: Encyclopedia Astronautica
[3] Sounding Rocket Study of Eighteen Vehicles, Summary Report, Vought Astronautics for NASA Langley Research Center, April 1961

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4

Last Updated: 13 July 2004