Little John Missile and Launcher


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Rockets and Missiles exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

The Little John was a short-ranged (4.5-23 mile), surface-to-surface U.S. Army missile and much lighter and mobile than its larger predecessor, the Honest John. The solid-fuel Little John was developed at the Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama.

Both the missile and its launcher were portable enough to be transportable by helicopter or other aircraft. The system was evaluated in 1958 at Fort Knox, Kentucky, although some shortcomings were found and the Little John did not become operational until 1961. It remained operational for only a brief period. The missile was transferred from the U.S. Army to the Smithsonian in 1986.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Transferred from the U.S. Army

Country of Origin

United States of America


  • Steel
  • Rubber
  • Paint
  • Natural Fabric


  • Overall (rocket): 14 ft. 6 in. long x 1 ft. 1/2 in. diameter x 2 ft. 9 in. wing span, 800 lb. (441.96 x 31.75 x 83.82cm, 362.9kg)
  • Other (launcher): 6 ft. tall x 4 ft. 10 in. wide x 4 ft. 8 in. long, 1350 lb. (182.88 x 147.32 x 142.24cm, 612.4kg)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

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