Little John


Retired Exhibit

Type: Surface-to-surface artillery rocket
Designation: M-51 / MGR-3
Payload: Conventional or nuclear warhead
Agency: U.S. Army
Contractor: Emerson Electric


For Redstone Arsenal’s 400-man Rocket Development Laboratories, Little John was a manifold triumph. It was successfully produced and demonstrated in a crash program that started in February 1956. It was test fired in June 1956, only a matter of months after initiation.

Design Elements

Honest John filled the need for a free-flight rocket artillery weapon with high accuracy, simplicity of design and operation, extremely high mobility, no electronic controls and a range equivalent to medium-to-long range artillery. The Little John was developed to supplement Honest John.

Considerably lighter and smaller than its Honest John relative, the Little John artillery rocket was designed to be more mobile and easier to handle. The rocket could be transported by helicopter and was easy to conceal. Like Honest John, Little John was supersonic, free-flying ballistic rocket and carried no guidance equipment.

Related Pages:

Other Missile & Rocket Artifacts