was a British
cruise missile project. It was cancelled in 1953.
An identified operational requirement led to a request for designs for an unmanned bomb capable of delivering a 5,000 lb (2.27 tonne) conventional warhead over 465 miles (700 km) travelling at 600 mph. The specification for production was for plastic construction. Guidance would be by Decca or LORAN.
Of three designs submitted, two were chosen for development.
Red Rapier from Vickers-Armstrong Ltd Vickers 825 design powered by three Rolls-Royce Soar turbojets.
Blue Rapier the Bristol 182 by Bristol Aeroplane Company, with a single Bristol Siddeley engine.
A proposal by Boulton Paul, the P.123 was not accepted.
By cancellation the Vickers 825 had reached prototype stage. The 825 was a 13 m long missile with a 10 m wingspan made from welded and formed mild steel
sections. The fuselage was rolled steel and the wing sheet steel over box spars. The wing served as the fuel tank. The three Soar engines were used, two on the tips of the tailplane, and one on the tip of the fin. The leading edges of the tailplane and fin were swept back sharply, but the wing was straight, and held to the fuselage by bombslips. The warhead
, about one tonne, was held to the front of the fuselage by explosive bolts. In use, the wing was jettisoned at the target, and the warhead detached once the fuselage had stabilised in a dive. A simple beam-riding
control system was fitted, with range determined by a crossbeam, similar to the German X-Gerät
blind bombing system. One-third scale models without engines were built and air launched from a Washington bomber (the Boeing B-29 Superfortress
in RAF service) on the Woomera missile range to test the aerodynamics and autopilot operation.
As the missile would fly straight and level it would have been susceptible to the same defensive measures as the V1 flying bomb.