16 Facts About Project Nike


Project Nike was a U S Army project, proposed in May 1945 by Bell Laboratories, to develop a line-of-sight anti-aircraft missile system.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,141

Project Nike began during 1944 when the War Department demanded a new air defense system to combat new jet aircraft, as existing gun-based systems proved largely incapable of dealing with the speeds and altitudes at which jet aircraft operated.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,142

Project Nike batteries were organized in Defense Areas and placed around population centers and strategic locations such as long-range bomber bases, nuclear plants, and ICBM sites.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,143

The numbers had no relation to actual compass headings, but generally Project Nike sites numbered 01 to 25 were to the northeast and east, those numbered 26 to 50 were to the southeast and south, those numbered 51 to 75 were to the southwest and west, and those numbered 76 to 99 were to the northwest and north.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,144

The fire control of the Project Nike system was improved with the Hercules and included a surface-to-surface mode which was successfully tested in Alaska.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,145

Project Nike-X featured phase-array radars, computer advances, and a missile tolerant of skin temperatures three times those of the Zeus.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,146

Project Nike-X was a proposed US Army anti-ballistic missile system designed to protect major cities in the United States from attacks by the Soviet Union's ICBM fleet.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,147

Project Nike-X was a response to the failure of the earlier Project Nike Zeus system.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,148

Project Nike-X addressed these concerns by basing its defense on a very fast, short-range missile known as Sprint.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,149

Project Nike-X used a new radar system that could track hundreds of objects at once, allowing salvoes of many Sprints.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,150

Project Nike-X considered retaining the longer range Zeus missile, and later developed an extended range version known as Zeus EX.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,151

Project Nike-X required at least one interceptor missile to attack each incoming warhead.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,152

Project Nike Hercules was included in SALT I discussions as an ABM.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,153

Project Nike Hercules was designed to use existing Project Nike Ajax facilities.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,154

Project Nike missiles remained deployed around strategically important areas within the continental United States until 1974.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,155

Project Nike boosters were used as stages in sounding rockets as they became surplus starting in the 1950s in the following versions:.

FactSnippet No. 1,266,156