Granite Nike Missile Base

For many years, US have remained at the top with the highest number of Nike missile bases when compared to other countries in the world. Many of the Nike missiles are under care of Army National Guard while others are under the protection of local and state governments in a bid to protect them. The private individuals own the remaining few, since they are interested in the development of Nike missile in the US.

Nike Missile Base

What are the most common Nike Missile Base locations in the US?

1. Project Nike: 

This US army project has cost the American taxpayers huge amounts of dollars since it started 40 years ago. It also formed the basis for other types of sky rocketing missile that the US government has been trying to develop since them. In addition, this Nike missile has also attracted the best scientists as well as researchers all over the world due to its potential remarkable success.

2. Nike Ajax

This Nike missile location is in Maryland that is amongst the army base locations known for missile testing. Since then, the government has continued to give the vital support especially for the scientists who have taken a role in developing this missile. The US Army National Guard especially in developing the Ajax system has been the main regulators.

3. Nike Hercules

Since the introduction of this missile, the nuclear weapons history has really changed due to the huge success in its development. It had improved range, speed, and accuracy especially in the intercept ballistic missiles. It had a range of approximately 100 miles (160 km), a speed excess of the 3,000 mph (4,800 km/h) in an altitude of about 100,000 ft. or 30 km. It is located in California State.

4. Nike Zeus


This was an improvement of the Nike Hercules to produce both Nike Zeus B and A. It was aimed at the intercontinental ballistic missiles. Since then, it has been located in army bases in the US in Texas (Nike Missile Base).

As an example for the many army bases in the US, let´s have a closer look at the story of: Granite Nike Missile Base BA-79, Active 1954–1974

Just North of the historic quarrying community of Granite in Baltimore County, Maryland lies a field of abandoned radar towers, military barracks, and other buildings surrounded by chain link fencing and guarded by an empty sentry box. About a mile further north, a state police training agency occupies similar but refurbished barracks, parking cars and equipment atop cavernous underground magazines that once held nuclear-armed missiles and young Army and National Guard troops ready to launch them to defend against Soviet air and missile attack. Like hundreds of other rural and urban communities throughout the fifty states, Granite was host to an active Nike Missile Base for two and a half decades beginning in the early 1950s.

Planning for the Cold War defense of Baltimore and other U.S. cities began in 1951. Ninety-millimeter antiaircraft gun units took positions around the city in 1952, and were soon staffed by a combination of regular Army and National Guard troops. During 1953 the new Nike Ajax, a liquid-fueled surface-to-air missile with conventional explosive warhead began to replace the regular guns. Temporary field radars and support facilities were replaced by elaborate target acquisition and control radars, and mobile launchers gave way to permanent launch facilities with large underground magazines, missile assembly and warhead buildings, and troop support facilities.

By the end of 1954 the newly completed site BA-79 at Granite opened. In early 1958 the Army began replacing the Nike-Ajax with nuclear-armed solid-fueled Nike-Hercules missiles. Since regular Army retained control over nuclear weapons, National Guard troops staffed the Ajax while Army staffed the Hercules. By 1960 National Guard troops had assumed control of all Ajax missiles in Maryland. In March 1963 Granite became the first National Guard battalion to assume operational control of the nuclear warhead-equipped Nike Hercules missiles. Ajax was then phased out, and the National Guard assumed greater operational control of the system. Through the tense years of the 1960s, hundreds of troops resided at each of the Nike sites, keeping the control and tracking systems operating at the integrated fire control sites and the missiles and warheads ready to fire at the companion launch sites.

In 1972 the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty banned anti-ballistic missile defense systems like Nike. By April 1974 the entire Washington-Baltimore-Norfolk Defense Area was deactivated, and in August of that year the National Guard converted the Granite Integrated Fire Control Site into a conventional armory. The launch site became the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission facility.

List of Nike missile locations From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia here. More about granite design and art deco style here.