AKA: ASM-A-2;B-63;GAM-63;MX-776. Status: Cancelled 1958. Thrust: 52.90 kN (11,892 lbf). Gross mass: 8,250 kg (18,180 lb). Height: 9.73 m (31.92 ft). Diameter: 1.22 m (4.00 ft). Span: 5.09 m (16.69 ft). Apogee: 26 km (16 mi).
Development Cost $: 448.000 million in 1952 dollars. Maximum range: 185 km (114 mi). Boost Propulsion: Storable liquid rocket. Maximum speed: 1,610 kph (1,000 mph). Initial Operational Capability: 1958.
Request For Proposals were issued to 17 contractors by the US Army Air Force for studies of a 10-year R&D program of four missile types. The missiles were to be air-, rail-, road-, or ship- transportable, and fit in three range categories: 280 to 800 km; 800 to 2400 km; and 2400 to 8000 km. Minimum speed was 970 kph, requiring turbojet, ramjet, or rocket propulsion.
The MX-770 contract for an 800-km range boost-glide missile derived from the German A9 concept went to North American; this would evolve into the Navaho triple-sonic intercontinental cruise missile. Martin received a contract for development of the MX-771, a subsonic ground-launched cruise missile with an 800-km range; it would evolve into the Matador and Mace missiles. Curtiss-Wright and Republic received contracts for the MX-772 and MX-773 surface-to-surface missiles; they never advanced beyond the initial study stage. Convair received the contract for long-range rocket-powered missiles; this evolved into the Atlas ICBM. Northrtop received the MX-775 contract for a 5000-km range cruise missile; this eventually flew as the Snark. Bell receives a contract to develop the MX-776, a 160-km range rocket-powered supersonic missile to be launched from B-29 bombers. This would evolve into the Rascal. McDonnell received a study contract for the MX-777 air-to-surface missile; this evolved into the anti-submarine 'hydrobomb' concept and was eventually transferred to the Navy. Goodyear received contracts for the MX-778 and MX-779 air-to-surface missiles; these never advanced beyond the preliminary study stage. Concurrently, the USAAF had the GARPA surface-to-air missile project underway, which would evolve into Bomarc; the USA Army the Corporal and Hermes (later Redstone) surface-to-surface missiles and the Nike and Hermes A1 surface-to-air missiles; and the Navy a range of missile technology development projects (Regulus, Bat, Kingfisher, Little Joe, Lark, Bumblebee, Gorgon, Dove).
Reacting to Russia's explosion of an atomic bomb, and the Communist victory in China's civil war, the US military begins increasing funding to the low-priority missile development programs begun in 1946. The Martin MX-771 tactical cruise missile is reinstated; additional funds are plowed into the Rascal and Snark programs; and the Corporal tactical missile is modified to carry a nuclear warhead. The Navaho aerodynamic design is frozen so that fabrication of the XSSM-A-2 flight articles can begin.