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Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles

In 1955 Britain began developing a long-range liquid-fueled missile, the Blue Streak. Although initial concepts included aninter-continental range missile [ICBM], work soon focused on an intermediate range missile [IRBM]. The de Haviland company was the airframe contractor for this project, which featured an inertial guidance system designed and built by Sperry Gyroscope Co. Ltd. The engines were built by Rolls Royce using Atlas missile technology licensed from North American Rocketdyne. Blue Streak static test firing facilities were established at Spadeadam in Cumbria, and flight tests were conducted in Woomera, Australia. This single stagesilo-based missile, raised vertically on an elevator for launch, was projected to have a range of 2,500 miles. The Blue Streak program was cancelled in favor of the air-launched Skybolt program on 13 April 1960 on the grounds of cost and vulnerability. Blue Streak was subsequently adapted for use as the first stage of the [ill-fated] Europa II European Orbital launcher.

The United Kingdom also operated American-built Thor IRBMs under dual key arrangements.

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