Saunders Roe's Proposal for the F.155 Requirement - the P.187


the ultimate in rocket interceptors.

This proposal of 1955 was for an aircraft that would have been the very behemoth of interceptors, an aircraft capable of intercepting targets 260 miles away at 60,000ft and Mach 2. Equipped with air to air radar, 4 guided missiles, 2 jets with reheat, and 4 rocket motors, it would have been a formidable machine. But the sheer size of the beast is staggering: look at the size compared with the SR53 and P177:

weight length span
SR53 18,400 lb 45 ft 25 ft
P177 26,000lb 50 ft 30 ft
P 187 97,000lb 84 ft 53 ft

Saunders Roe P187 rocket interceptor
The design had some points of interest: a sliding nose was fitted, so that the pilot had a better view on landing, yet the aircraft would be aerodynamically smoother at high speeds. Elaborate arrangements were also made for enabling the 2 crew members to eject safely.


Dry weight: 54,700 lb
Landing weight 62,200lb
Normal All Up Weight 97,000lb
Overall span (with weapons) 51ft 7ins
Overall length 83ft 6ins
Overall height 21ft 8ins
Power plant:
turbojet 2 de Havilland P.S.52 'Gyron'
Static thrust with reheat 2 x 35,000 lb
Static thrust without reheat 2 x 25,000lb
Rocket 4 de Havilland developed Spectre 5
Static thrust 4 x 10,000lb
Weapons: to O.R. 1131
2 radar guided missiles
2 infra red homing missiles
Crew Pilot and navigator
Total sortie time:
normal warning 48.9 minutes
extended warning 89.2 minutes
Ultimate ceiling
1 minute duration at M=2 76,000ft
Max altitude cruise
M=2.0 on jets only 57,000ft
Maximum level speed
Structure limit M = 2.5
Fuel limit M = 3.0

And here is a typical sortie as drawn up by Saunders Roe. It was no doubt intended to show both the range and endurance of the vehicle together with its ability to do the high speed dash/climb.

7 August 1999 updated 5 July 2002.

... the Rocket Interceptors page ..