Although devised towards the end of World War II, Project: ''Kingfisher'' was a US Navy Munitions delivery system that was active between 1956 thru 1959. The Program of born out of the need to create a methods to effectively deliver airborne torpedoes to Enemy targets. While Germany and in part Imperial Japan had both experimented with (and used prototype versions) of airborne torpedoes, most of these were actually rocket or radio controlled devices. Many technical issues developed. After World War II, The US Military began to experiment with a form of Glider Torpedo which was far superior to previous Enemy versions.
The ''Kingfisher'' Glider was a radar controlled, sub-sonic munitions device. It could achieve speeds of Mach 0.5 and cruise at an effective range of 20-miles. Using an attached wing/fuselage body, a standard Mark 15 Torpedo was used. Dropped from a Medium Bomber (and envisioned Maritime Patrol Aircraft), The Kingfisher was designed to radar home and plunge under the water surface. Upon which, the device would become ''active'' and begin it's timed detonation. While lab testing was impressive, The Kingfisher suffered greatly during actual ''sea and air'' trials. No less that (6) variants were attempted with only (1) The ''F''-Model actually being deployed with US Naval assets for a 3-year period. With this final Model, plans to use low yield nuclear warheads were envisioned, but however – ''Kingfisher'' was abandoned for the advancements in Ship to Air Missile Systems.