Part of the "triple T series" of RIM-2 Terrier and RIM-24 Tartar, the RIM-8 Talos was a long-range surface-to-air missile of the U.S. Navy in the 1950s. The entire triple-T series has been replaced by the Standard SM missile series.
Ramjet powered, the Talos was launched and brought up to ramjet operating speed with a solid rocket engine. It could use a high explosive or nuclear warhead. Midcourse guidance was beam riding direct control, with semi-active radar homing for final attack. They were principally mounted on Albany class large missile cruisers.
It was the only ship-launched missile used to shoot down enemy aircraft during the Vietnam War, fired from escorts of Task Force 77 on YANKEE Station. An anti-radiation missile variant was also used, in combat, in Vietnam. The U.S. Air Force evaluated it as an interim replacement for the long-range CIM-10 Bomarc, a project transferred to the Army and then cancelled. Remaining Talos missiles were successfully converted to MQM-8 Vandal supersonic target drones.
- Andreas Parsch, Bendix SAM-N-6/IM-70/RIM-8 Talos