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RIM-24 Tartar
RIM-24 Tartar on USS Berkeley (DDG-15) 1970.jpg
RIM-24 on USS Berkeley in 1970
Type Medium range surface-to-air missile
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1962
Used by United States Navy, and Others
Production history
Manufacturer General Dynamics (Convair)
Weight 1,310 lb (590 kg)
Length 180 in (460 cm)
Diameter 13.5 in (34 cm)

Warhead 130 lb (59 kg) continuous-rod

Engine Dual thrust, Solid-fuel rocket
Propellant Solid Rocket Fuel
8.7 nmi (16.1 km; 10.0 mi) (RIM-24A)
16 nmi (30 km; 18 mi) (RIM-24B)
17.5 nmi (32.4 km; 20.1 mi) (RIM-24C)
Flight ceiling 50,000 ft (15 km) (RIM-24A)
65,000 ft (20 km) (RIM-24B)
Speed Mach 1.8
Surface ship

The General Dynamics RIM-24 Tartar was a medium-range naval surface-to-air missile (SAM), and was among the earliest surface-to-air missiles to equip United States Navy ships. The Tartar was the third of the so-called "3 T's", the three primary SAMs the Navy fielded in the 1960s and 1970s, the others being the RIM-2 Terrier and RIM-8 Talos.


The Tartar was born of a need for a more lightweight system for smaller ships, and something that could engage targets at very close range. Essentially, the Tartar was simply a RIM-2C Terrier without the secondary booster. The Tartar was never given a SAM-N-x designation, and was simply referred to as Missile Mk 15 until the unified Army-Navy designation system was introduced in 1963.

The Tartar was used on a number of ships, of a variety of sizes. Initially the Mk 11 twin-arm launcher was used, later ships used the Mk 13 and Mk 22 single-arm launchers. Early versions proved to be unreliable. The Improved Tartar retrofit program upgraded the earlier missiles to the much improved RIM-24C standard. Further development was canceled and a new missile, the RIM-66 Standard, was designed to replace it. Even after the upgrade to a new missile, ships were still said to be Tartar ships because they carried the Tartar Guided Missile Fire Control System.

A dedicated anti-ship version for the Federal German Navy carrying a Bullpup warhead was abandoned when Germany purchased MM38 Exocet instead.


  • RIM-24A: Original missile
  • RIM-24B: Improved Tartar
  • RIM-24C: Improved Tartar Retrofit (ITR) aka. Tartar Reliability Improvement Program (TRIP)

Ships carrying Tartar fire control systems


Map with NIM-104 operators in blue

Past Operators

United States

External links

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