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SAM-N-2 Lark

Template:Infobox Weapon

The Lark project was a high-priority, solid-fuel boosted, liquid-fueled rocket surface-to-air missile developed by the United States Navy to meet the kamikaze threat.[1] After Lark configuration was established by the Bureau of Aeronautics in January 1945 Fairchild Aircraft was given a contract to produce 100 missiles in March 1945. Fairchild used radio command guidance with a semi-active radar homing AN/DPN-7. A backup contract for another 100 missiles was given to Convair in June 1945. Convair used beam riding guidance with AN/APN-23 active radar homing.[2] Neither version was successful. Six of the Convair airframes were given to Raytheon to explore use of velocity-gated continuous wave doppler radar for guided missile target seekers, while most other United States investigators used range-gated pulse radar. One of these Raytheon guidance systems in a Convair airframe scored the first successful United States surface-to-air missile interception of a flying target in January 1950.[1]

Early guided missile development

The Lark never proceeded past the prototype stage. Further Lark development was halted by the Bureau of Ordnance in late 1950 in favor of the RIM-2 Terrier being developed by Operation Bumblebee. A subsonic missile was of doubtful use against anticipated supersonic targets; but three successful Lark interceptions by the Raytheon guidance system[1] generated interest within the Army and Air Force. Modified Larks were used for guidance system development testing by all three services through the early 1950s.[2] The Bureau of Aeronautics Sparrow program began in 1950 using the Lark target seeker in air-to-air missiles.[1] The Army used Lark components investigating guidance options for the MGM-18 Lacrosse surface-to-surface missile. Changing roles during a period of changing nomenclature created a confusing number of designations for Lark. Fairchild production was identified as KAQ, SAM-N-2, and CTV-N-9. Convair production was identified as KAY, SAM-N-4, and CTV-N-10. Army test versions were designated RV-A-22.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Peck, Merton J. & Scherer, Frederic M. The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis (1962) Harvard Business School pp.232-233&659
  2. ^ a b c "SAM-N-2/SAM-N-4". Andreas Parsch. Retrieved 2013-04-17.