Wehrmacht History 1935 to 1945


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Ruhrstahl X-4
Kramer X-4

Air-to-Air Missiles

X-4 Air-to-Air Missile

Service Data

In Service: 1943 to 1945

Production Data

First Flight:
Manufacturer: Ruhrstahl
Number built: 1,300

Technical Data

Type: Air-to-Air Missiles

Guidance system: line control
Length: 2.10 m
Wingspan: 0.86 m
Diameter: 0.220 m
Weight: 60 kg
Engine: 1 × BMW 109-558 liquid fuel rocket engine producing up to 375 kg of thrust
Maximum speed: 900 km/h
Range: km
Warhead: 2.9 km
Launch Platform: Ju 88, Ju 188, Fw 190, Me 262
Operators: Luftwaffe

Other: Missiles


The Ruhrstahl X-4 was a air to air missile. Designed and developed by Ruhrstahl AG in 1943 under the leadership of Dipl.-Ing. Max Otto Kramer.

The Ruhrstahl X-4 was also known as the Kramer X-4.This weapon was intended to be deployed against Allied bomber formations out of the range of their defensive weapons. Dipl.-Ing. Max Otto Kramer had been experimenting since early 1938, with remote control freefalling bombs, and in 1940. Kramer joined Ruhrstahl AG.

The Ruhrstahl X-4 had a cigar shaped body for centrally mounted swept back fins and four small tailfins. Two of the opposing central fins held the streamline parts of a wire control bobbins, and a spoiler control was fitted in each of the four tailfins, the rocket motor used was 1 × BMW 109-558 liquid fuel rocket engine producing up to 375 kg of thrust. The wire link control system was employed for the Ruhrstahl X-4 which used Düsseldorf FuG 510 transmitter and the Detmold FuG 238 receiver, detonation was achieved by several methods impact fuse, Kranich or Meise proximity fuse. In the event of the missile missing the intended target the missile was self-destruct when the rocket motor ran out of fuel.

Testing of Ruhrstahl X-4 began on the 11 August 1944 using a Fw 190 as a carrier aircraft however the BMW 109-558 rocket engines were not ready, and so the Schmidding 109-603 solid fuel rocket engine producing up to 150 kg of thrust was used. testing continued from Karlshagen using several different types of carrier aircraft Ju 88, Ju 188, Me 262 until early February 1945.

Ruhrstahl AG produced 1,000 Kramer X-4 airframes at its Brackwede factory and BMW had produced approximately 1,300 BMW 109-558 rocket engines at its Stargard factory but due to BMW factory being heavy bombed all were lost, which effectively ended any chance of getting Kramer X-4 operational.


X-4 Air-to-Air Missile picture 2
X-4 Air-to-Air Missile picture 3

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The Warplanes of the Third Reich.
ISBN-10: 0385057822

German Aircraft of the Second World War.
ISBN-10: 0370000242

Hitler's Luftwaffe.
ISBN-10: 051718771X

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