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Ikara Missile

From the Collection of Running Rabbits Military Museum operated by the Upwey Belgrave RSL Sub Branch 1 Mast Gully Road Upwey Victoria

The IKARA is an unmanned miniature aircraft with clip on upper and lower stabilizers and wings.
Length 3.42M
Object Registration
navy, torpedo, rocket, submarine, missile
Historical information
During the 1950’s, the growing threat from Submarines, led the Royal Australian Navy to consider a quick reaction, long range ASW torpedo delivery system as an alternative to the USN’s ASROC and the RN’s Match. Full scale research and development began in 1960 using the Turana target drone as the basis for the delivery platform. Shipboard tests began in 1963 and the Government Aircraft Factory (GAF) began production of three variants M3, M4 and M5 in 1965. The M4 variant had a guidance system designed to interface to a full tactical data handling system while the M3 and M5 variants used a simpler system with a dedicated fire control system.

The IKARA is an unmanned miniature aircraft with clip on upper and lower stabilizers and wings. The upper stabilizer (SVU) housed and electronic package that transmitted flight data back to the launch platform and received updated target acquisition data during flight. Flight maneuverability was provided by elevons fitted into the trailing edge of each wing, these were operated by an actuator system that received flight correction data transmitted to the autopilot from the fire control system. The payload, either the Mk44 or Mk46 lightweight torpedo was suspended to the underside of the airframe and faired into the body to provide and aerodynamic shape. The forward section of the body housed the autopilot and the thermal battery unit. Propulsion was provided by the MURAWA steel cased, solid propellant rocket motor with a combined boost and sustainer stage. IKARA was capable of engaging a target to the maximum range of the ships sonar, regardless of weather conditions. Target information is fed into the fire control system, which calculated to drop zone for the torpedo taking into account speed and direction of launch platform and target, win speed etc, then tracking the missile to the drop zone where command signals initiate torpedo release.
When Made
Made By
Maribyrnong Ordinance Factory in Victoria., Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated
3 Mar 2017 at 10:10AM