Nike Ajax, Hercules, and Zeus Guided Missiles

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December 2006

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  • F-111s in Vietnam
  • Convair B-58, Factory Fresh

Nike Missile System Documents

  • Nike Last Line Defense-Illinois
  • Nike Missile System Overview
  • Nike On Site On Guard
  • Nike US Army Guided Missile System
  • US Army Air Defense
  • US Army Anti Aircraft Command
  • USAF Control & Warning Support System 416L
  • What We Have, We Shall Defend
  • Winged Victory, Nike Missile at Fort Bliss

Nike Ajax Documents

  • Nike Ajax Field & Depot Maintenance
  • Nike Ajax Historical Monograph
  • Nike Ajax Reliability Study, RAND Corporation

Nike Hercules Documents

  • Nike Hercules Allied Support
  • Nike Hercules History Of, Cagle
  • Nike Hercules Maintenance Manual 1967
  • Nike Hercules Maintenance Manual 1981
  • Nike Hercules Missile & Test Equipment
  • Nike Hercules Operations in Alaska 1959-1979
  • Nike Hercules Operators Manual
  • Nike Hercules Radar Signal Simulator Station
  • Nike Hercules Target Tracking Ranging
  • Nike Hercules Technical Data, Western Electric


  • Over 160 Nike missile photos!
  • Nike Ajax
  • Nike Hercules
  • Nike Zeus
  • Videos

MIM-3 Nike Ajax Specifications

  • In service: 1954
  • Manufacturer: Bell Labs, Douglas Aircraft
  • Unit cost: $19,300 (flyaway, 1958), $61,000 total
  • Number Produced: 1952
  • Weight: 32,259 lb (14.6 t) total, 31,051 lb (14.1 t) sustainer, 1,208 lb (0.5 t) booster
  • Length: 32 ft 8 in (9.96 m) overall, 20 ft 11 in (6.38 m) sustainer, 13 ft 2 in (4.01 m) booster
  • Diameter: 14.6 in (0.37 m) sustainer, 16.2 in (0.41 m) booster
  • Detonation mechanism: radio command
  • Engines: Solid fuel booster, liquid fuel sustainer 48,000–59,000 lbf (210–260 kN) booster, 2,600 lbf (12 kN) sustainer
  • Wingspan: 50 in (1.3 m) sustainer, 76 in (1.9 m) booster
  • Propellant: JP-4 and RFNA/UDMH (sustainer)
  • Operational range: 30 mi (48 km)
  • Flight ceiling: 70,000 ft (21,000 m)
  • Speed: Mach 2.25 (1,710 mph; 2,760 km/h) (@ 50k ft)
  • Guidance system: command guidance
  • Launch platform: fixed erector/launchers

Nike Ajax on Display

  • A Nike Ajax, Nike Hercules, and Nike Zeus are on display at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.
  • A Nike Ajax and Nike Hercules are on display at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History in Brussels, Belgium.
  • A Nike Ajax and Hercules are on display at the Peterson Air and Space Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • A Nike Ajax missile is on display at Camp Nathan Hale, in Niantic, Connecticut.
  • Two Nike Ajax and a Hercules are on display at the Cape Canaveral Space & Missile Museum in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
  • A Nike Hercules is on display at Nike Missile Site HM-69, now a registered historic site located within Everglades National Park.
  • A Nike Ajax is on display at the War Museum in Athens, Greece.
  • A Nike Ajax and Hercules are on display in front of the VFW post in Cedar Lake, Indiana.
  • A Nike Ajax is on display in Marion, Kentucky.
  • A Nike Ajax and Hercules are on display at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland.
  • A Nike Ajax is on display in front of the VFW post in Hancock, Maryland.
  • Two Nike Ajax and a Hercules are on display at a small Cold War museum in Ft. Meade, Maryland.
  • A Nike Ajax and Hercules are on display at the Dutch Air Force Museum in Soesterberg, Netherlands.
  • A Nike Ajax is on display at The Space Center in Alamagordo, New Mexico.
  • A Nike Ajax is on display near the administrative buildings at the former Nike site in Rustan, about 40 km to the southwest of Oslo, Norway.
  • Two Nike Ajax and a Nike Hercules are on display near the Bataan Building at Camp Perry, near Port Clinton, Ohio.
  • A Nike Ajax is on display near the Toledo Rockets Glass Bowl Stadium on the campus of the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio.
  • A Nike Ajax is displayed in front of an Army Surplus store located near the Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania.
  • A Nike Ajax and Hercules are on display at the Pennsylvania National Guard Department of Military Arts building at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania.
  • A Nike Hercules missile is used as a static display by the Rhode Island National Guard.
  • A Nike Ajax and Hercules are on display at the Air Power Park in Hampton, Virginia.
  • A Nike Ajax missile cutaway, as well as a complete Nike Ajax missile are on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum at Washington Dulles International Airport, in Washington D.C..
  • A Nike Ajax and Nike Hercules are on display in the Berryman War Memorial Park in Bridgeport, Washington.
  • A Nike Ajax is on display at the Ft. Lewis Military Museum in Tacoma, Washington.
  • A Nike Ajax on its launcher is on display outside an American Legion hall in Okauchee Lake, Wisconsin.
  • A Nike Ajax on its transporter (trailer) is on display outside a public storage (former site MS-20) facility in Roberts, Wisconsin.
  • A Nike Ajax is on display in front of the American Legion Post in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.
  • A Nike Ajax is on display in front of the Combat Air Museum in Topeka, Kansas.
  • A Nike Ajax is on display at the MUNA Military Museum, Marktbergel, Germany

Nike Ajax Bases

  1. The best preserved Nike installation is site SF88L located in the Marin Headlands just west of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. The site is a museum, and contains the missile bunkers, and control area, as well as period uniforms and vehicles that would have operated at the site. The site has been preserved in the condition it was in at the time it was decommissioned in 1974. The site began as a Nike Ajax base and was later converted to Nike Hercules.
  2. The second best preserved Nike installation is site NY-56 at Fort Hancock in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The site has been restored and contains the original missile bunkers, as well as three Nike Ajax and a Nike Hercules on display. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places.

MIM-14 Nike Hercules Specifications

  • Manufacturers: Western Electric, Bell Laboratories, Douglas Aircraft Company
  • Weight: 10,710 pounds (4,860 kg)
  • Length: 41 feet (12 m) overall, 26 feet 10 inches (8.18 m) second stage
  • Diameter: booster 31.5 inches (800 mm), second stage 21 inches (530 mm)
  • Warhead: initially W7 (2.5 or 28 kt)[1][verification needed] later W31 nuclear 2 kt (M-97) or 20 kt (M-22)[2] or T-45 HE warhead weighing 1,106 pounds (502 kg) and containing 600 pounds (270 kg) of HBX-6 M17 blast-fragmentation
  • Engines: Booster: Hercules M42 solid-fueled rocket cluster (4x M5E1 Nike boosters) 978 kN (220000 lb), Sustainer: Thiokol M30 solid-fueled rocket 44.4 kN (10000 lb)
  • Wingspan: 11 feet 6 inches (3.51 m) booster, 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) second stage
  • Operational range: 90 miles (140 km)
  • Flight ceiling: 150,000 feet (46,000 m)
  • Speed: >Mach 3.65 (ca. 2750 mph or 4,470 km/h)

Nike Zeus Specifications

Name Nike Zeus A Nike Zeus B Spartan (LIM-49A)
Model DM-15A DM-15 B, (C?), S DM-15X2
Length 44 ft 3 in (13.5 m) 50 ft 2 in (15.3 m) 55 ft 1 in (16.8 m)
Diameter 3 ft 0 in (0.91 m) 3 ft 0 in (0.91 m) 3 ft 7 in (1.09 m)
Fin span 9 ft 9 in (2.98 m) 8 ft 0 in (2.44 m) 9 ft 9 in (2.98 m)
Mass 10,980 lb (4,980 kg) 24,200 lb (10,977 kg) 28,900 lb (13,100 kg)
Maximum speed Mach 4 > (c. 2800+ mph; 4,900 km/h arbitrary)
Range 200 mi (320 km) 250 mi (400 km) 460 mi (740 km)
Ceiling (not mentioned) 170 mi (280 km) 350 mi (560 km)
Booster Thiokol TX-135
400,000 lbf (1,800 kN)
Thiokol TX-135
450,000 lbf (2,000 kN)
Thiokol TX-500
500,000 lbf (2,200 kN)
Second stage (not mentioned) Thiokol TX-238 Thiokol TX-454
Third stage None Thiokol TX-239 Thiokol TX-239
Warhead W31 (25 kt) W50 (400 kt) W71 (5 Mt)