Hopi (missile)

Hopi on AD-5N.jpg
Hopi mounted on an AD-5N Skyraider
Type Air-to-surface missile
Place of origin  United States
Service history
Used by United States Navy
Production history
Manufacturer Naval Ordnance Test Station
Warhead W50 thermonuclear
Blast yield 60 to 400 kilotonnes of TNT (250 to 1,700 TJ)

Hopi was an air-to-surface missile developed by the United States Navy's Naval Ordnance Test Station. Intended to provide a medium-range nuclear capability for carrier aircraft, the missile reached the flight test stage during 1958, but the project was cancelled following testing and no production was undertaken.

Design and development

Developed by the Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS) at China Lake, California during the mid-to-late 1950s,[1] the Hopi missile was an improved development of the earlier BOAR (Bombardment Aircraft Rocket). BOAR had been developed at China Lake as an unguided, nuclear-armed rocket for use by carrier-based aircraft, seeing limited service in the fleet between 1957 and 1963.[2]

In its essentials simply an enlarged version of BOAR,[2] which it was intended to replace in service, Hopi was designed as a medium-range weapon capable of being carried by a wide variety of carrier-based fighter and attack aircraft.[3] The rocket-powered missile was capable of being fitted with a W50 nuclear warhead capable of producing a yield between 60 and 400 kilotons; however, no details of the planned guidance system for the missile, or if there even was intended to be guidance at all, have survived.[1]

Operational history

Following its develoment, the Hopi missile was flight-tested on the China Lake weapons range during 1958.[1] The missile was test-fired from a variety of aircraft, including the North American FJ-4 Fury, Douglas AD Skyraider,[1] Douglas A3D Skywarrior and Douglas A4D Skyhawk.[4] However, no details of the tests are known to have survived,[1] and the Hopi project was cancelled shortly thereafter.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Parsch 2003
  2. ^ a b c Babcock 2008, p.323.
  3. ^ Jacobs and Whitney 1962, p.80.
  4. ^ 1958 Photo Gallery, Photographic History of NAF & VX-5 at NOTS China Lake. Accessed 2010-12-29.
  • Babcock, Elizabeth (2008). Magnificent Mavericks: transition of the Naval Ordnance Test Station from rocket station to research, development, test and evaluation center, 1948-58. History of the Navy at China Lake, California. 3. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. ISBN 0-945274-56-8. 
  • Jacons, Horace; Eunice Engelke Whitney (1962). Missile and Space Projects Guide: 1962. New York: Plenum Press. ASIN B0007E2BBK. 
  • Parsch, Andreas (2003). "NOTS Hopi". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles. designation-systems.net. http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/app4/hopi.html. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 

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