MIM-14 Nike-Hercules - Development and Deployment

Development and Deployment

The Nike-Hercules system, a follow-up to the Nike-Ajax missile, was developed during the Cold War to destroy enemy bombers and enemy bomber formations, as well as serve as an anti-ballistic missile system. Western Electric, Bell Laboratories, and Douglas Aircraft Company were chief contractors for the system. Nuclear-armed Nike Hercules missiles were deployed in the United States, Greece, Italy, Korea and Turkey, and with Belgian, Dutch, and U.S. forces in West Germany. Conventionally-armed Nike Hercules missiles also served in the United States, Germany, Denmark, Japan, Norway, and Taiwan. The first deployments in Europe began in 1959 and the last nuclear-armed Nike Hercules missiles in Europe were deactivated in 1988. The Nike-Hercules missile systems sold to Japan (Nike J) were subsequently fitted with upgraded internal guidance systems, the original vacuum tube systems being replaced with transistorized ones.

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