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Velvet Glove: Canadair's involvement with missiles began in 1951 when the Defence Research Board (DRB)asked the company to assume control of the development of the Velvet Glove air-to-air guided missile designed by the Canadian Armament Research and Development Establishment CARDE, a Defence Research Board (DRB)laboratory at Valcartier, Quebec.
The Velvet Glove was about 3 m (10 ft.) long and weighed about 200 kg (500 lb.) It was powered by a solid rocket motor and equipped with a semi-active radar homing device. The radar transmitter was carried in the aircraft and the receiver in the missile, so the pilot had to keep the transmitter aimed at the target while the missile was in flight
A total of 131 Velvet Gloves had been completed when the program was terminated in 1956, due largely to the fact that the Velvet Glove had been overtaken by U.S. missiles including the Sparrow II and Sparrow III.
Sparrow: In March 1958, the Canadian government contracted with Canadair, in association with Douglas Aircraft and Bendix Aviation, to supply 900 Sparrow II Mark 1 air-to-air missiles. Canadair was coordinating contractor with overall responsibility for the manufacture, assembly and flight test of the missile.
Intended to provide the long range clout for the Avro Arrow, the Sparrow II, with its solid rocket launcher, was 3.76 m (12 ft. 4 in.) long, 20 cm (8 in.) in diameter and weighed 184 kg (406 lb.). It had a fully active radar guidance system which combined both transmitter and receiver in the missile and made it unnecessary for the pilot to keep the aircraft aimed at the target.
Canadair had manufactured two Sparrow missiles and modified five others, manufactured by Douglas, when the government cancelled the program along with the Arrow.
Bomarc: When the government cancelled the Arrow and the Sparrow, it purchased the Boeing Bomarc ground-to-air missile. Canadair was awarded a contract to manufacture components for the missile and sent 180 engineers and technicians to Boeing to work on the program.
Between 1959 and 1962, Canadair produced 550 sets of Bomarc wings and a quantity of valves for the ground system. This was the first of several important subcontracts Boeing would award Canadair over the next 30 years.