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


The BMTS (Ballistic Missile Target System) was developed by the USAMICOM (U.S. Army Missile Command) in the mid-1960s as a family of low-cost ballistic targets to evaluate missile defense systems. It used boosters from obsolete MIM-3 Nike Ajax missiles as first stage with different optional second stages, depending on the desired target trajectory. Most of the BMTS launches occurred on White Sands Missile Range in the 1966/68 time frame.

Photo: U.S. Army

The designation XMQR-13A was allocated to the BMTS rockets in June 1967, and applied to all configurations. There were two basic configurations of the target rocket, the first of these having three subvariants. Configuration I used an M5 (Nike Ajax) booster as the first stage, and either an Apache (Version 1) or a Cajun (Version 2) motor as second stage. The third version of Configurartion I used an inert Cajun shape as a dummy second stage. The payload, consisting mainly of a radar cross section simulator, was installed in a radome atop the second stage. Configuration II used only the Nike Ajax booster with the payload being attached directly to the booster in a special nose cone.


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

Data for XMQR-13A (Configuration I, Version 1):

Length7.89 m (25 ft 10.8 in)
Diameter42 cm (16.5 in)
Finspan1.54 m (5 ft 0.7 in)
Weight> 750 kg (1650 lb)
Speed1830 m/s (6000 fps)
Ceiling130 km (70 nm)
Range325 km (175 nm)
Propulsion1st stage: Allegheny Ballistics Lab. M5 solid-fueled rocket; 246 kN (55000 lb) for 3 s
2nd stage: Thiokol TE 307-2 Apache solid-fueled rocket; 21.1 kN (4750 lb) for 6 s

Main Sources

[1] Department of Defense Missile Nomenclature Records
[2] Peter Alway: "Rockets of the World", Saturn Press, 1999
[3] White Sands Missile Range Website

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Last Updated: 22 October 2002