Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Copyright © 2002 Andreas Parsch

Texas Instruments AGM-83 Bulldog

The major drawback of the AGM-12 Bullpup air-to-surface missile was the manual guidance, which made the aircraft highly vulnerable during the flight of the missile. Therefore the U.S. Navy and the USAF (with its AGM-79 Blue Eye and AGM-80 Viper projects) tried to develop pilot-independent guidance systems for the Bullpup to allow the firing aircraft to turn away after launch.

In 1970, Texas Instruments was awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy to develop a laser guidance system for the AGM-12 Bullpup. The new missile, designated AGM-83 Bulldog, was developed in cooperation with the Naval Weapons Center (NWC) at China Lake. The Bulldog was based on the AGM-12B Bullpup A, and used a new 113 kg (250 lb) MK 19 blast-fragmentation warhead. It could home on the reflection of a laser beam, which was projected on the target by U.S. Marine Corps ground troops. The firing trials with AGM-83A test missiles in 1971/1972 were quite successful, and the Navy actually planned to mass-produce the AGM-83A Bulldog and have it in service with the USMC in 1974. An ATM-83A version for ground handling training was also planned. However, in 1972 it was decided that the Navy should instead procure a laser-guided version of the Air Force's AGM-65 Maverick, the AGM-65C (which was later also cancelled in favour of the AGM-65E).

Photo: U.S. Navy


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for AGM-83A (data estimated, based on AGM-12B Bullpup airframe):

Length> 3.20 m (10 ft 6 in)
Wingspan0.94 m (37 in)
Diameter0.30 m (12 in)
Weight> 280 kg (620 lb)
SpeedMach 1.8
Range11 km (7 miles)
PropulsionThiokol LR58-RM-4 storable liquid-fuel rocket; 53 kN (12000 lb)
Warhead113 kg (250 lb) MK 19 blast-fragmentation

Main Sources

[1] Norman Friedman: "US Naval Weapons", Conway Maritime Press, 1983
[2] Bill Gunston: "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rockets and Missiles", Salamander Books Ltd, 1979
[3] R.T. Pretty, D.H.R. Archer (eds.): "Jane's Weapon Systems 1972-73", Jane's, 1973

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Last Updated: 25 January 2002