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Ikara Missile

WA Maritime Museum - Joy of Museums - Ikara Missile

The Ikara missile was an Australian developed anti-submarine missile, named after an Aboriginal word for “throwing stick”. It launched an acoustic torpedo allowing fast-reaction attacks against submarines at ranges that would otherwise require the launching ship too close for attack, placing itself at risk.

Also, by flying to the general area of the target, the engagement time was dramatically reduced, giving the target less time to respond. Submariners obviously disliked it and referred to IKARA as:

“Insufficient Knowledge And Random Action”.

It was phased out in the early 1990s due to the obsolescence of the Mk 44 torpedo and inability to carry the newer and heavier Mk 46 or Stingray.

Essential Facts:

  • Name:                  Ikara Missile
  • Type:                    Anti-submarine
  • Place of origin:  Australia
  • Service history: 1960s-1990s
  • Weight:               513 kilograms (1,131 lb)
  • Length:               3.429 metres (135.0 in)
  • Warhead:           Mark 44, Mark 46, NDB (Nuclear Depth Bomb).
  • Engine:               Bristol Aerojet Murawa two-stage solid-fuel rocket engine.
  • Wingspan:         1.524 metres (60.0 in)
  • Range:                10 nautical miles (19 km)
  • Flight ceiling:    335 metres (1,099 ft)
  • Speed:                 Boost max: 713 kilometres per hour (443 mph)
  • Launch platform: Ship-borne
  • Museum:            WA Maritime Museum


“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
William James



Photo Credit: By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons