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Nike-Hercules Missile

The Nike-Hercules Missile, Designation MIM-14, was a solid propellant surface to ground missile developed by the United States Air Force during the Cold War as a last defense against invading forces into the US and as a Anti-missile system. The missile was designed to destroy enemy bombers and enemy bomber formations. Western Electric, Bell Laboratories, and Douglas Aircraft Company were the chief contractors for the missiles.

The Nike-Hercules Missile can be fitted with either a Nuclear Warhead, W-31 type, or a conventional T-45 fragmenting warhead. The missile is 41 feet 6 inches long with a wingspan of 6 feet 2 inches. 145 batteries of missiles were deployed during the cold war. The missile had a range of about 110 miles.

When it became apparent that the greatest threat to US National defense was from missiles instead of bombers the batteries were deactivated. Because of the missiles effectiveness against certain ICBMs it was covered in the SALT I treaty. All Nike-Hercules missile batteries with the exception of the ones in Florida and Alaska were deactivated by 1970.

See also: Project Nike