Missile, Air-to-Surface, Bat

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Physical Description
High wing monoplane with rounded, stub nose; horizontal stabilizer and twin vertical, rounded fins. Overall, gray; nose painted lighter gray; this specimen without internal electronics; has internal control box, but this box empty.
This is the Bat missile, built by the National Bureau of Standards and one of the most sophisticated U.S. missiles of World War II. It was a glide bomb carried by a Navy PB4Y-2 Privateer patrol bomber or other aircraft and was designed to destroy ships and off-shore enemy targets. It employed a radar-homing system that guided the missile to its target. The Bat was released from its carrier aircraft within a 15- to 20-mile range of its target and carried a 1,000-pound bomb.
Steering was by a controllable tail elevator driven by autopilot servo motors. The Bat missile saw combat in 1945 off Borneo and destroyed several Japanese ships, but it ceased its operational life at the war's end. The U.S. Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics donated this artifact to the Smithsonian in 1950.
Alternate Name
Bat Missile
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National Air and Space Museum Collection
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar
Inventory Number
Credit Line
Transferred from U.S. Navy
National Bureau of Standards
Country of Origin
United States of America
Mainly, wood; screws, steel; nosecone, aluminum base, plexiglass cap; aluminum bulkhead; basic interior frame, center of missile interior, steel; control box, steel.
Overall: 11 7/8 in long., 600 lb., 10in. (30.23cm, 272.2kg, 25.4cm)
Other (nosecone): 2 ft 5i n. x 1ft 9 1/2 in. (73.66 x 54.61cm)
Overall (tail): 6 ft 4 in. (193.04cm)
National Air and Space Museum
Restrictions & Rights
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum