NIKE System

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Nike Hercules Missile on Transporter/Launcher at the Fort Lewis Museum
NIKE Defense Areas
West Central East


Nike AADCPs (edit list)
AADCP Defense Area
Location
Active Closed FSG1
Master
GSG-5
BIRDIE
TSQ-51
Mentor
SAGE
ID
USAF
Ops End
GPS Notes
C-80DC Chicago-Gary
Arlington Heights AI, IL
1960 1974-09-01 Yes No Yes Z-31 1969-09-30 42.06502,
-87.99557
B-21DC Boston
Fort Heath, MA
1960 1965 Yes No Yes MM-1 1962 42.38867,
-70.96778
D-15DC Detroit
Selfridge AFB, MI
1960 1974-09-01 Yes No Yes Z-20 1974-09-01 42.62669,
-82.83019
NF-17DC Niagara-Buffalo
Lockport AFS, NY
1960 1970-03-31 Yes No No Z-21 1979 43.13996,
-78.83344
NY-55DC New York
Highlands AFS, NJ
1960-06 1974-10-31 Yes No Yes, 1st
Installed
Z-9 1966-07-01 40.39162,
-73.99468
PH-64DC Philadelphia
Pedricktown AI, PA
1960 1966-09-30 Yes No No Z-63 1983 39.75339,
-75.45007
PI-70DC Pittsburgh
Oakdale AI, PA
1960 1974-09-01 Yes No Yes Z-62 1969-12-31 40.39801,
-80.15802
LA-45DC Los Angeles
San Pedro Hill AFS, CA
1960 1974-09-01 Yes No Yes Z-39 1990s 33.71378,
-118.28706
W-13DC Washington-Baltimore
Fort Meade RS, MD
1957 1974-09-01 Yes
Prototype
Yes No Z-227 1979-10-01 39.11678,
-76.72801
S-90DC Seattle
Fort Lawton AFS, WA
1960 1974-09-01 Yes, 1st
Production
Model
Yes No Z-1 1963-03 47.6586,
-122.41106
KW-18DC Key West
Key West, NAS
1962~ 1979 Yes No Yes Z-209 Present? 24.58512,
-81.68849
HAWK Missiles
SF-90DC San Francisco
Mill Valley AFS, CA
1960 1974-09-01 No Yes Yes? Z-38 1964-07-31 37.92417,
-122.59688
SL-47DC Saint Louis
Belleville AFS, IL
1959 1969-03-31 No Yes No Z-70 1968-06-18 38.47589,
-89.90538
HM-01DC Homestead
Richmond AFS, FL
1961 1979? No Yes No Z-210 1992 25.62322,
-80.40452
Destroyed 1992
Hurricane Andrew
HAWK & NIKE
DF-30DC Dallas-Fort Worth
Duncanville AFS, TX
1959~ 1969-03-31 No Yes No Z-78 1964-07-31 32.64811,
-96.90558
KC-65DC Kansas City
Olathe AFS, KS
1959~ 1969-03-31 No Yes No Z-72 1968-09-08 38.835,
-94.90444
DY-??DC Dyess
Sweetwater AFS, TX
1960 1966-03-01 No Yes No Z-89 1969-09-30 32.46337,
-100.4734
OF-??DC Offutt
Omaha AFS, NE
1959 1966-03-01 No Yes No Z-71 1968-09-8 41.36073,
-96.02538
E-??DC Ellsworth
Ellsworth AFB, SD
1958 1961 No Yes No M-97 1962-08-15 44.1545,
-103.08344
F-??DC Fairchild
Geiger Field, WA
1957 1965-12-22 No Yes No Z-151 1990s 47.62297,
-117.51724
Split Site
Geiger Field
Mica Peak AFS
R-44DC Robbins
Robbins AFB, GA
1965-12-22 1966-03 No Yes No 32.62335,
-83.59226
Loc Unk
TU-01DC Turner
Turner AFB, GA
1960-11 1965-12-22 No Yes No 31.60148,
-84.09503
CL-34DC Cleveland
Warrensville, OH
1971-06 No Yes No 41.4566,
-81.50093
PR-69DC Providence
Coventry, RI
No Yes Yes? 41.72108,
-71.59731
T-??DC Travis
Travis AFB, CA
1957~ 1971-06-01 No Yes No 38.26903,
-121.9434
Loc Unk
Merged with SF
1 Jun 1971
BG-??DC Bergstrom
Bergstrom AFB, TX
1966-03-01 No Yes No 30.19271,
-97.66846
MS-??DC Minneapolis
Minneapolis, MN
1971-06 No Yes No 43.12049,
-87.97418
L-??DC Loring
Loring AFB, ME
1966-03-01 No No No 46.95057,
-67.89585
Loc Unk
Manual CP
Anchorage
DC
Anchorage
Fire Island AFS, AK
1959 1969 No No No F-1 1969 61.14242,
-150.21727
Manual CP
Moved to
Site Point 1969
Anchorage
DC
Anchorage
Site Point
1969 1979-04-09 Unk Yes Yes 61.1588637,
-150.0353533
Fairbanks
DC
Fairbanks
Murphy Dome AFS, AK
1957 1971 No No No F-2 64.9525,
-148.356944
FSQ-34?
WA-??DC Walker
Walker AFB, NM
Z-90 33.30919,
-104.54815
Battery Activated
but not Operational
Source:
* Ed Thelen Site - Nike Site Locations
* Wikipedia - List of Nike Sites
* Tech Bastards - Nike Missile Locations
* Radomes - List of Nike Related Radar Sites
* Nike Historical Society
* Lonnquest, John C. and Winkler, David F., To Defend and Deter: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Missile Program, USACERL Special Report 97/01, Nov 1996, 607 pages,

Pdf
* Morgan, Mark L. and Berhow, Mark A., Rings of Supersonic Steel: Air Defenses of the United States Army 1950-1979, Third Edition, Hole in the Head Press, Bodega Bay, 2010, ISBN 978-0-9761494-0-8, 358 pages

The U.S. Army Nike Missile System was developed in the 1950s to replace radar guided anti-aircraft gun batteries deployed around critical manufacturing and population centers. The concept was to use long range radar to acquire incoming enemy aircraft, to track the incoming target and to fire a missile at the target. The system required separate tracking radars for the enemy target and the intercepting missile. Commands were sent to the missile inflight through the missile tracking radar.

The system developed by the U.S. Army was the Nike AJAX missile with a range of about 26 miles and a ceiling of about 55,000 feet, suitable for point defense of specific areas. The short range meant that multiple batteries were required for coverage of large metropolitan areas like Chicago. The tracking radar concept for both target and missile meant that only one target could be engaged by a battery at a time and that the system could be overwhelmed by a mass attack and/or decoys. By 1958 some 200 batteries had been deployed to protect the nation's critical infrastructure. Douglas Aircraft built 13,714 Ajax missiles for deployment in the U.S. and overseas.

Specification Nike Ajax
MIM-3A
Nike Hercules
MIM-14A/B/C
Air Museum Nike Ajax.jpg Nat Nuke Museum Nike Hercules - 1.jpg
Operational From 1953 1958
Length 33 ft 40 ft
Weight 2,260 lb 10,550 lb
Payload 300 lb 1000 lb
Warheads Conventional Conventional + Nuclear
Fuel (1st Stage) 1 Solid Fuel Booster 4 Solid Fuel Boosters
Fuel (2nd Stage) Red Fuming Nitric Acid
and JP-4 Jet Fuel
Solid Fuel
Speed 1900 mph 2700 mph
Mach 2.3 3.5
Range 26 mi 90+ mi
Ceiling 55,000 ft 100,000 ft

The NIKE sites in the United States were organized into NIKE Defense Areas that usually consisted of an AADCP command post, a long range radar site, and a number of launch site/control site pairs. Many times the command post and the long range radar site were co-located and the long range radar site could be a U.S. Army or U.S. Air Force facility. Although the command posts were originally manual operations they later evolved into more automated operations with the addition of a Missile Master (FSG-1) system, BIRDIE (GSG-5) system or the Missile Mentor (TSQ-51) system.

The Nike AJAX missile system was deployed between 1954 and 1963. During this same period the U.S. Air Force built a manual network of long range radar sites providing radar coverage over most of the United States and much of Canada. This network of early warning radars was designed to direct Air Force interceptors to intercept incoming enemy planes before they crossed into the U.S. and provided radar coverage in excess of 200 miles off the east and west coast. This system was known as the Permanent Radar System and beginning in 1958 it was merged into the automated system known as the SAGE System. The Air Force SAGE System served as the primary defense system while the NIKE Ajax sites were in place to take out any enemy aircraft that were not intercepted by the Air Force. The high cost of both systems caused the joint use of some facilities and many Army control sites were collocated with Air Force long range radar sites. Later the SAGE direction centers and the backup BUIC System could directly control the BOMARC system and send track data and assignments to Nike Missile Master AADCPs. At the SAGE Direction Centers the Army air defense artillery director (ADAD) consoles and a field grade Army ADA battle staff officer coordinates AADCPs.

In 1958 the U.S. Army began to deploy the second generation NIKE Hercules missile with improved range (90+ miles) and 100,000 foot ceiling. With improved radars and solid state computer systems the capability was greatly improved and fewer missile batteries were required. The Hercules payload was increased so that both conventional and nuclear warheads could be carried. The Air Force had also developed and was preparing to deploy its own surface to air BOMARC missile with an even longer range and larger payload. A rivalry developed between the services and in the end both systems were deployed but neither in the numbers initially projected. As the NIKE Hercules was deployed the old AJAX sites were either closed or modified for the Hercules missiles. The last stateside Nike AJAX site was deactivated in 1963.

The BOMARC System was deactivated in 1972 and the NIKE Hercules System in 1974. The SAGE system was also in decline and many of the Air Force radar sites and some of the SAGE Direction centers were closed. In 1974 the Air Force also closed down the backup/replacement SAGE system known as BUIC System. The military had come to the realization that the manned bomber threat had been eclipsed by the threat of the ICBM with multiple targetable warheads. The military and civilian (FAA) radar systems were consolidated into the Joint Surveillance System (JSS) and by 1979 the air defense of the nation rested with tactical forces.

Warning systems for the detection of land and sea based enemy ICBM launches were put in place but these were largely detection systems not anti-ballistic missile systems. Detente was reached when all sides understood that the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction was firmly in place.


See Also:

Sources & Links:
* Ed Thelen Site - Nike Site Locations
* Wikipedia - List of Nike Sites
* Tech Bastards - Nike Missile Locations
* Radomes - List of Nike Related Radar Sites
* Nike Historical Society
* Lonnquest, John C. and Winkler, David F., To Defend and Deter: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Missile Program, USACERL Special Report 97/01, Nov 1996, 607 pages,

Pdf
* Morgan, Mark L. and Berhow, Mark A., Rings of Supersonic Steel: Air Defenses of the United States Army 1950-1979, Third Edition, Hole in the Head Press, Bodega Bay, 2010, ISBN 978-0-9761494-0-8, 358 pages

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