America’s nuclear air defense system during the Cold War

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Dec23,2023 #America #Cold #nuclear
America's nuclear air defense system during the Cold War 0
America's nuclear air defense system during the Cold War 0

America’s nuclear air defense system during the Cold War

The Nike Hercules missile crew practices live-fire exercises

During the Cold War, the United States deployed dozens of MIM-14 Nike Hercules air defense missile systems carrying nuclear warheads to protect the country’s airspace from the Soviet Union’s nuclear attack, according to War is Boring.

The end of World War II was also the time when the US military realized that traditional anti-aircraft artillery was gradually becoming obsolete.

In 1949, the Soviet Union tested nuclear weapons for the first time, the threat of bombers carrying atomic bombs became reality, forcing the US to upgrade the Nike program.

Soviet aircraft were able to keep formations at close distances, making it impossible for the Nike Ajax system to identify individual targets.

The US military needs a more powerful missile by switching to Plan B of the program, called Nike Hercules.

America's nuclear air defense system during the Cold War

A Nike Hercules missile battery in the US.

In 1958, the United States began deploying Hercules missiles around important cities, industrial facilities, and strategic military bases.

However, this missile faces competition from competitors in the weapons manufacturing industry.

The Bomarc missile uses a ramjet engine to launch W40 nuclear warheads at aerial targets.

According to military expert Adam Rawnsley, when the Army revealed the location of the Hercules deployment, the Air Force published many articles, declaring that this type of missile could not protect US airspace against Soviet bombers.

However, Hercules still has the advantage because it uses solid fuel, while Bomarc operates on liquid fuel.

The US Army deployed faster, making Hercules the first anti-aircraft missile equipped with a nuclear warhead.

The US Congress decided to order Bomarc missiles to deploy in 10 locations and purchase 145 Nike Hercules missile batteries.

America's nuclear air defense system during the Cold War

The Nike Hercules rocket launcher has been preserved to this day.

In addition to Nike Ajax and Hercules, the US military also deployed the Nike Zeus project to deal with intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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