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(U) The tactical version of the Basic HERCULES weapon system evolved from the telescoped R&D and industrial programs during the 1955-59 period. Although the preproduction engineering and production contracts were not signed until April 1955, the contractors actually started production engineering on the tactical system in November 1954, 2 months before the first experimental flight of the Model 1810 missile. The system design was established at the end of 1957, buy experimental firings and engineering-user tests continued through 1959. The weapon system entered the industrial test phase on 9 January 1960, concurrently with completion of production engineering and the final R&D design release. Minor improvements and design refinements continued through 1960, at which time development and test of the Basic HERCULES system was essentially complete. Meanwhile, the first Basic HERCULES battery was deployed in June 1958, and the weapon system was classified as Standard A in November 1958.

System Design Philosophy

(U) In the design, development, test, and evaluation of the Basic HERCULES, the contractor made maximum use of components, equipment, and techniques already developed and tested as part of the NIKE AJAX system. The basic philosophy of the AJAX--that of a completely integrated battery using command guidance control of the missile--was also maintained. Briefly, the system consisted of an acquisition radar for continuous surveillance of all targets within range, and of means for designation of target location to the target tracking radar. Precise target and missile position information was continuously obtained by the target tracking radar and missile tracking radar, respectively. The computer solved the guidance problem using the position information and issued steering commands required to direct the missile over an efficient trajectory to intercept the target. These orders were coded in a pulse code form and sent via the missile tracking radar to the missile. The orders were received in the missile, decoded by the missile guidance set, and used for positioning hydraulically-operated control surfaces to obtain the desired missile maneuver accelerations. At the proper time before intercept, depending on the warhead used, a burst order signal was sent to the missile. The readiness of the equipment and the progress of the engagement were monitored and controlled at the battery control console.

(U) To reduce the time of flight in dense atmosphere and obtain the maximum specific impulse of the sustainer motor, the dart-shaped missile was launched nearly vertically and propelled to supersonic speed by the booster. The empty booster motor was jettisoned when its propellant burned out, at which time the sustainer motor ignited and propelled the missile to its maximum velocity (about Mach 3.5). Four fixed fins with trailing-edge control surfaces for roll-stabilizing and steering the missile were affixed to the aft section. The control surfaces were inactive until after separation of the booster, when the command guidance system started to control the flight of the missile.l

Revision of the Development Schedule

(U) With two exceptions, the WECo-BTL-DAC team accomplished the development and test program essentially according to the planned schedule of February 1954 (see Chart 4). Problems with the liquid sustainer motor delayed the initiation of the 40-round missile flight test program from November 1954 to mid-January 1955. Although the entire program was geared to a very close timetable, BTL was confident that the time lost in the power plant schedule could be made up, so that the system demonstration could still be completed by 31 March 1956. However, because of the delay in execution of Contract ORD-1447 for preproduction missiles, completion of the system demonstration slipped to October 1956. Warning of the potential program delay, in January 1955, BTL pointed out that construction of the 40 R&D missiles would be completed by October 1955, and that the last of these rounds would be expended during the system demonstration. To provide the necessary leadtime for construction and delivery of preproduction prototypes for continued R&D flight tests, contract authorization for the first 100 rounds was required no later than 1 January 1955. In the absence of such authority, BTL notified Ordnance that the system demonstration would be rescheduled upon completion of contract negotiations for the first lot of preproduction missiles. The contract was finally signed on 29 April 1955, and the target date for completion of the system demonstration was rescheduled 2 for October 1956.

Test Hardware and Equipment

(U) The scope of work under WECo's prime contract (ORD-1082) called for the development and preparation of manufacturing infermation, research and development in support of the system, an experimental test program, and a training program. Forty R&D missiles and two experimental models of ground equipment were fabricated under the contract for use in development and testing of the system. Since the HERCULES ground guidance and control equipment was in the early development phase concurrently with the missile experimental flight rests, it was necessary to modify the NIKE AJAX R&D system in use at "C" Station, White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), to permit it to control the new long-range HERCULES missile. The first R&D model of the HERCULES ground guidance equipment was installed at "C" Station during March, April, and May 1956; and demonstration of the complete weapon system using the new connaand link began on 25 July, following a series of checkout firings using both AJAX and HERCULES missiles. The first R&D model of ground equipment was later returned to Whippany, where it was modified into the second engineering model for use by the contractor in continued system testing and evaluation.3

(U) Contract ORD-1447, awarded to WECo on 29 April 1955, called for construction of the first lot of 100 production prototype missiles and for conversion of five AJAX prototype ground equipment sets to HERCULES. Included in the latter were five sets of ground guidance and control equipment, five sets of launching and handling equipment, five sets of assembly area equipment, and three sets of Type IV test equipment, all of which were to be delivered to the Army for use in Ordnance engineering and user tests. The basic contract was later amended to include three additional missile lots, bringing the total number of prototype missiles to 320. Missile deliveries by DAC began in June 1956 and continued into December 1958. The five sets of prototype equipment were delivered between November 1956 and June 1957.4

Missile and Booster Development

(U) The propulsion, structure, and control system components and the essential aerodynamic characteristics of the HERCULES missile and booster assembly were developed and evaluated in the first 28 rest firings at WSMR during the period 13 January 1955 to 29 February 1956. During the "C" Station modification program, four additional HERCULES rounds were fired, with internal programmers in lieu of ground guidance control. Therefore, 32 HERCULES rounds were fired strictly as missile evaluation tests up to the beginning of the system demonstration in July 1956.5

(U) The decision to use existing components where practicable created a problem within itself, because components such as the AJAX sustainer motor and XM-5 booster had to be adapted to the HERCULES missile. (As noted earlier, the two-stage Model 1810 missile approved for development used clusters of four AJAX XM-5 solid propellant booster motors and four liquid propellant susstainer motors.) The contractor encountered major problems in the clustering of both power plants, and malfunction of the sustainer motor cluster marred many of the early flight tests.


(U) The first four R&D missiles (Rounds B1 through B4), fired between 13 January and 6 April 1955, were powered by the XM-5 booster cluster and the Bell Aircraft liquid sustainer motor using JPX fuel (a mixture of 40 percent unsymetrical dimethyl hydrazine and 60 percent JP4 jet fuel, a hydrocarbon between gasoline and kerosene). The remaining 28 R&D test missiles (Rounds B5 through B32), fired between June 1955 and June 1956, were equipped with the XM-5 booster cluster and the redesigned sustainer cluster using Aerojet General motors with JP4 jet fuel and inhibited red fuming nitric acid as an oxidizer.

(U) The XM-5 booster cluster exhibited good performance in all but two of the missile evaluation tests. The liquid sustainer motor cluster, however, was a source of constant trouble throughout the missile development test program. Of the first 20 flight tests in 1955, 12 were terminated by malfunction. Two of these failures were attributed to the XM-5 booster cluster, six to the sustainer motor cluster, and the remaining four to other missile equipment.7

(U) On 30 September 1955, the program suffered a discouraging setback when an explosion occurred during a routine static test of the liquid propulsion system at White Sands Proving Ground. Explosions had occurred before at this test pit, but never had there been one of such violence. An employee of the White Sands ElectroMechanical Laboratory was killed, marking the first fatality of the NIKE project, and five DAC employees suffered injuries from flying debris within the control room. The test stand was 6 to 8 feet from the reinforced concrete walls of the control room, where the six personnel were monitoring extra instrumentation equipment provided for the test. The force of the blast caved back the reinforced concrete wall; blew out the narrow safety glass window over the operating console and the larger window on the same wall to the rear of the control room; and snapped the 2 by 10 wooden beams of the control room roof structure. The building, though nor demolished, was considered to be nonrepairable.8

XM-30 Solid Propellant Sustainer Motor

(U) As a result of the motor failures in 1955 and recurring malfunctions early in 1956 (four failures in eight trials), BTL and Redstone Arsenal presented OCO a proposed program for parallel development of a solid propellant HERCULES sustainer motor using the T17-type propellant which the Thiokol Chemical Corporation had developed for use in the HERMES and SERGEANT missiles. Under the proposed program, the four liquid motors, their fuel and oxidizer ranks and associated valves, pumps, and plumbing would be replaced with a simple solid motor having no mechanical moving parts. As shown in the accompanying illustrations, the change would necessitate relocation of the airborne guidance package from the aft end to the nose section and redesign of the fuselage. However, the manifold advantages to be derived from such a missile made the redesign effort well worthwhile. The reliability and operability of the system would be significantly improved; production costs would be lower; and field maintenance and service of the missile would be much easier and require less operating personnel and equipment.9


(U) The Department of the Army approved the proposed motor development program as a parallel effort in late March 1956.10 The Redstone Division of the Thiokol Chemical Corporation developed the XM-30 solid propellant sustainer motor for the HERCULES missile in three phases at a total cost of $5.380.247. Contract ORD-4930, awarded on 11 April 1956 for $98,059, covered a 6-month preliminary design and development program. Although work under the initial contract continued until the latter part of 1956, the full-scale R&D phase commenced with the signing of Contract ORP-4947 on 15 June 1956. The latter contract, for $1,995,498, included $118,542 for necessary modification of existing manufacturing facilities and acquisition of capital equipment. It covered a 12-month development effort which culminated in the flight-type motor design. Contract ORD-5102, awarded on 5 December 1956 for $3,286,690, constituted a continuation and elaboration of work done under the previous contracrs.ll

(U) In addition to numerous small-scale static test motors, Thiokol assembled and loaded 222 XM-30 motors of the flight design during the period June 1956 to March 1958. Of these, 105 were expended in missile flight tests and the remainder in development, pre-flight, and qualification tests.l2 Under a fourth contract, ORD-5028 signed on 28 June 1956 for $85,496, Thiokol supplied six simulated solid propellant motors for safety detonation tests by the Government.13

(U) The original schedule for the XM-30 motor development program called for delivery of the first tactical HERCULES missile so equipped in September 1958. However, this schedule was later accelerated to allow the incorporation of solid motors into production missiles in the first half of 1958.14 Aside from some problems and delays in metal parts deliveries, the program proceeded on schedule. Interim design releases of the XM-30 motor and the HERCULES missile with XM-30 motor came on 3 October and 23 october 1956, respectively.l5 In February 1957, the Army adopted the XM-30 solid propellant sustainer motor for the tactical missile and amended WECo's production contracts accordingly. Flight tests of the XM-30 R&D motor began with the firing of Round B57 at White Sands on 13 March 1957. The liquid propulsion system was phased out of the RbD flight test program in 1958.16

(U) Meanwhile, the Thiokol Chemical Corporation/Longhorn Ordnance Works** (TCC/LOW) cast the first preproduction motor for static rest on 21 January 1957, and began pilot production of XM-30 in March. Deliveries of motors for flight test commenced in November 1957,17 and the first tactical missile of this configuration was completed and shipped from the Charlotte Ordnance Missile Plant in December.18

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XM-42 Booster Motor

(U) The altered M5 (XM-5) jato adapted for use in the booster the cluster was designated as the M5E1 Jato Unit on 28 July 1955. The M5E1 was identical to the M5 unit except that additional holes were drilled and tapped in the motor body to facilitate mounting the cluster of four motors on the HERCULES missile.20 The complete booster cluster was officially designated as the XM-42 rocket motor in April 1958.21

Exploded View of the XM-42 Rocket Motor

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The Abortive Frangible Booster Program

(U) The reliability of the M5 booster had been well proven by many NIKE AJAX firings, and its offspring, the XM-42 (M5E1) booster cluster, fulfilled the basic performance requirements of the HERCULES system. Still, the propulsion system failed to meet the HERCULES MC's, established in July 1953, which stated the desire that boosters, if used, be of the disposable type.23 Underscoring the ueed for a self-destroying (frangible) booster for the BEBCULES missile were problems then being encountered in the acquisition of real estate for construction of NIKE AJAX installations around vital defense areas in the United States. The programmed construction of some 35 AJAX installations in 1953-54 fell behind schedule because of public reluctance to see these pushbutton warfare devices installed in the back yards of the nation. In addition to worry about accidental explosion or misfire of the AJAX missiles, there was great concern about the danger to life and property from the falling steel booster casings.

(U) In large part, the protest by citizens groups in various localities stemmed from a lack of public understanding of how the NIKE installations operated. Army officials pointed out that the NIKE missiles had a built-in safeguard against accidental explosion or misfire, and that the batteries would not engage in practice firings but would remain silent and unnoticed unless an actual enemy bomber should get through all other air defenses. In that event, they argued, most cities would rather chance falling missile debris than face the prospect of A-bomb destruction. But to minimize the danger of falling debris, the Army announced that work was going forward on the development of a self-destroying booster that would be harmless to life and property.24

(U) The fact that the 2,000-lb. expended HERCULES booster cluster would have a destructive force about four times that of the single AJAX booster dictated that the HERCULES missile also be equipped with a frangible booster. The failure to meet this requirement for either the AJAX or HERCULES was undoubtedly the most disappointing and, for obvious reasons, the least publicized aspect of the entire NIKE project. The Army developed the T48 series frangible booster for the AJAX and the XM-61 single-chamber frangible booster for the HERCULES at a total contract cost of more than $5 million, but neither was ever released for production. Brief summaries of the two overlapping programs follow.

(U) A general requirement for the safe disposition of boosters for all surface-to-air missiles was established in the MC's for those items and duly recorded by the Ordnance Technical Committee on 10 May 1951.25 The Glenn L. Martin Company of Baltimore, Maryland, conducted a feasibility study of disposable boosters under an Ordnance Corps contract during the period March 1949 to October 1950. It began formal development of the T48 frangible booster for the NIKE AJAX in January 1951, under Contract ORD-93, with Redstone Arsenal maintaining technical supervision of the program. The Universal Moulded Products Corporation (UMPC) of Bristol, Virginia, fabricated the frangible components of the jato under Contract ORD-3902, and Radford Arsenal manufactured and loaded the standard OIO-type propellant grain.

(U) The motor case and components of the initial T48 series (T48E1 and T48E2) jatos were made of Fiberglas-reinforced plastic. After separation from the missile, high-explosive charges, initiated by delay detonators, reduced the expended booster case to non-lethal dust or very small fragments weighing no more than a few grams each. Tests conducted at WSPG indicated that the T48E2 jato was too heavy and caused too great a degradation in missile performance. Of prime concern were its lower velocity and altitude at burnout than the M5 jato: 1,810 feet per second (fps) and 3,280 feet with reference to the launcher, compared to 2,000 fps and 3,700 feet with reference to the launcher for the M5 jato.26

(U) Baving determined that the Martin T48E2 jato would not give the required boost velocity, Redstone Arsenal, on 23 December 1954, awarded UMPC a $922,219 contract (ORD-4823) for development of the T48E3 frangible booster. This improved version of the self-destroying jato was constructed of Fiberglas-reinforced epoxy resin laminate. The propellant length was increased by 1 inch (to 103 inches) and the overall weight of inert parts was reduced about 130 pounds, giving a significant increase in flight performance.

The T48E3 was capable of boosting the AJAX missile to a velocity of about 1,960 fps and an altitude of 3,600 feet in 3.4 seconds, while delivering a total impulse of about 148,000 pound-seconds. It was about 13 feet long and 18 inches in diameter, and consisted of four major elements: the frangible case, an 808-lb. charge of OIO-type propellant, stabilizing fins, and explosive components to effect self-destruction. Exclusive of its self destroying features, the T48E3 booster was about 45 pounds lighter than the standard M5 steel unit. Its diameter, however, was larger than that of the M5 jato, and engineering redesign of the arsndard launcher rail would be required.27

(U) Encouraged by the results of developmental tests at Redstone Arsenal and firings at WSPG, OCO, in December 1955, approved the initiation of a 68-round engineering test program to determine the suitability of the T48E3 for release to using 28 units. At about the same time, authority was granted for procurement of 20 service test rounds at a cost of $130.000, and Redstone Arsenal requested WECo/BTL to modify the pertinent AJAX dravings to accommodate the new booster.29 BTL, in February 1956, authorized DAC to proceed with the necessary engineering redesign effort, but later sided with DAC in a dispute with Redstone Arsenal over the desirability of standardizing the T48E3 booster for use with the AJAX.

(U) DAC's objections to the T48E3 jato centered around its marginal end-of-boost velocity and the time and money required for the redesign and field modification of standard launcher rails. Mr. E. P. Wheaten, Chief Missiles Engineer, claimed that the end-of-boost velocity of the T48E3 was about 45 fps less than that of the M5 jato, which was itself barely acceptable in performance. Moreover, 12,000 to 14,000 launcher rails in the field would have to be modified to accommodate the larger-diameter booster. He estimated that'this work would cost "well into 7 figures" and require at least 18 months. For these and other reasons, he said, DAC could not recormnend the release of the T48E3 into the NIKE system. Instead, he recommended that consideration be given to the immediate development of a new frangible booster with performance equal to the original design intent for the AJAX 2,050 fps end-of-boost velocity) and with external dimensions the same as those of the M5 jato.30 BTL concurred with DAC's recommendations, and advised Redstone Arsenal that the requested engineering redesign work would not be undertaken pending action on those recommendations.31

(U) Personnel of the Redstone Arsenal R&D Division argued that the modification cost should be evaluated against the tactical importance of a frangible booster and that the contractor's estimate of 18 months for engineering redesign verged on the ridiculous. They maintained that performance of the AJAX would be equivalent with either the M5 or T48E3 jato, and that the latter's Fiberglas-plastic construction would eliminate the corrosion problems encountered with metal flight components of the M5. Noting that the Army Antiaircraft Command had stated a firm military requirement for a self-destroying jato for the AJAX, Redstone Arsenal insisted that the T48E3 was suitable for tactical use and reconrmended its immediate release to production. The Arsenal set up a meeting to discuss these and other differences with the missile contractors, but they refused to send representatives.

(U) In the end, the DAC/BTL position prevailed. The Department of the Army, over the objections of ARAACOM, decided not to produce the T48E3 jato for use with the NIKE AJAX. UMPC, on 25 September 1956, won a 7-month, $61,029 contract (ORD-354) for the design of an improved T48E3 jato with a higher end-of-boost velocity and an outside diameter equal to that of the M5 jato.33 In April 1957, however, DA turned its attention to design studies of a singlechamber, disposable booster for the NIKE HERCULES missile, which was to begin replacing the NIKE AJAX in 1958.

(U) Pursuant to the HERCULES MC's, which stated a desire that boosters, if used, be of the disposable type, Redstone's Rocket Development Laboratories, in December 1954, had begun a feasibility study of a single-chamber, self-destroying jato to replace the XM-5 booster cluster then being delivered for the initial missile development tests. This study, completed on 1 March 1955, indicated that the development of such a booster was feasible. In late December 1955, following a more detailed system study of jato requirements by the missile contractors, the Laboratories conducted a design and development study on the proposed booster. The study report, published on 13 March 1956, outlined a project plan and design specifications for a single-chamber, self-destroying jato that would meet all HERCULES performance requirements. The proposed booster, later designated as the M-61*, would use cast double-base solid propellant with a Fiberglas-plastic case similar to that developed for the T48E3. Its end-of-boost velocity would be about 100 fps higher than that obtainable with the clustered XM-5 jato, and it could be incorporated into the system with no changes in the launcher rail. Moreover, the single frangible booster would permit great flexibility in launching site emplacement; the cost of large booster disposal areas would be saved; handling, shipping, storage, and assembly would be much simpler ** than for the clustered jato; and considerable saving would be realized in production costs. It was estimated that development of the flight prototype could be completed in about 18 months at a cost of $2 million. Final R&D flight and engineering tests would require about 15 additional months and cost about $3 million.34

(U) In the latter part of 1956, while DA was pondering production release of the T48E3 jato, the Commander of ARAACOM came out in full support of the T48E3 jato for the AJAX and the proposed (XM-61) single-chamber, frangible booster for the HERCULES. A study of critical jato disposal areas in CONUS antiaircraft defenses disclosed that about 80 percent of the areas selected had some form of housing or development located therein. The planned integration of the HERCULES into all active CONUS AJAX sites would create additional disposal problems for those sites already constructed because of the larger booster dispersion distance for the HERCULES. In view of the urgent need for solution of the booster disposal problem in densely populated areas, and the advantages offered by incorporation of the T48E3 and XM-61 frangible jatos into the NIKE systems, ARAACOM recommended (1) that an inrmediate military requirement be established for these boosters; (2) that production of the M5 (XM-42) cluster jato be terminated except for those necessary for continued rest of the HERCULES missile; (3) that production of HERCULES boosters for on-site units be of the frangible, single-chamber type; and (4) that remaining production requirements for the AJAX boosfer be of the T48E3 type.35

(U) Coincident with the above action by ARAACOM, the President of Board No. 4, Fort Bliss, recormnended to the Continental Army Command (CONARC) that development of the proposed disposable booster be authorized inrmediately, and that the HERCULES MC's be changed to read: "It is required that boosters, if used, be of the disposable type.36 However, since the disposable booster would be needed only at sites in densely populated areas, the revised MC's, issued in July 1957, simply added the statement that a "self-destroying type jato is desired for use where safety considerations make use of normal jatos undesirable."37

(U) As noted earlier, DA decided not to produce the T48E3 jaro for the NIKE ATAX, and funds for full-scale development of the proposed booster for the HERCULES were not immediately available. Using funds left over from two completed Thiokol contracts (ORD-4460 and ORD-5028), Redstone Arsenal, in 1957, awarded contracts totaling $46,459 to UMPC and Thiokol for preliminary design studies of a single-chamber jato using a compositetype propellant and having an end-of-boost velocity of 2,050 fps with a growth potential to 2,450 fpp.38

(U) In August 1957, Redstone Arsenal advised OCO that a unit production cost saving of about $9,000 could be realized on the single self-destroying booster over the XM-42 clustered booster. In view of this long-range saving in PEMA funds, the Chief of R&D, DA, on 6 December 1957, authorized the immediate initiation of development of the (XM-61) single-barrel, frangible booster.39

Approval of the proposed contract with the Thiokol Chemical Corporation was not forthcoming from OCO until 16 March 1958, and it took nearly 3 more months to obtain approval of the proposed motor case subcontractors (Zenith Plastics Company and UMPC). The $2,433,728 R&D contract (ORD-5496), signed on 4 June 1958, covered the first 6 months of the 18-month development program, the total cost of which was estimated at $6,634,272.40

(U) Two months later, the Army Air Defense Command (formerly the Army Antiaircraft Command) reversed its position on the tactical and technical advantages of the single-chamber, self-destroying booster for the HERCULES. In a letter to CONARC, on 12 August 1958, ARADCOM reconm~ended that the improved single-chamber, nonfrangible (steel) booster using composite propellant be developed, instead of the (XM-61) frangible jato, as a replacement for the existing XM-42 clustered booster.41

(U) A subsequent staff study by ARGMA revealed that the FY 1958 procurement cost of the XM-42 clustered booster was $12,652 per unit, rather than the $21,050 unit cost previously estimated by the contracter, and that a slight reduction in cost of the XM-42 could be expected on the FY 1959 program. In contrast, the production cost of the single-chamber booster was estimated at $12,000 per unit with the frangible case and slightly less with the non-frangible (steel) case. The findings of the staff study also indicated that development of the single-chamber steel jato using a composite propellant, favored by ARADCOM, would further complicate the problem of insufficient production facilities for composite propellant motors.42

(U) In view of the findings of the above study and the fact that the authorization for development of the single-chamber, selfdestroying booster had been based primarily on the estimated cost savings over the existing XM-42 booster, the ARGMA Commander, on 25 November 1958, reconrmended that the development program for the single-chamber, self-destroying booster for HERCULES be terminated.43 In the absence of a reply on 29 January 1959, and in view of a reduction in PEMA/S program authority, ARGMA and AOMC again requested permission to terminate the program.44 A search of the available records failed to reveal the exact date that the program was terminated or the funds expended above the initial contract amount ($2,433,728). It is a fact, however, that the frangible booster program was quietly terminated, and the HERCULES missile assembly was standardized with the M42 cluster booster.

(U) Excluding the in-house feasibility and design and development studies, technical supervision, and development tests by Redstone Arsenal, the cost of which must have run well into six figures,45 the Army invested $5,049,297 in development contracts for self-destroying boosters for the AJAX and HERCULES missiles during the 1951-58 period. (See Table 3.)

TABLE 3--(U) Contracts for Development of Frangible Boosters for NIKE Systems

(U) The termination of the frangible booster program left unsolved the booster disposal problem for HERCULES batteries used for defense of populated areas. The only solution to this problem was to provide a safe booster disposal area for all the launchers of a given battery; viz., an area the size of a circle a mile in diameter with its center about 0.75-mile from the nearest launching station.46

Guidance Section

(U) The major components of the missile-borne guidance equipment included electronic devices that received and decoded radar signals from the missile tracking radar, transmitted steering and detonating commands to the proper components of the missile's guidance system, controlled the electrical energy that operated the missile's hydraulic valves, and retransmitted signals from the missile's beacon to the missile tracking radar. As in the case of the propulsion system, the IIERCULES guidance set design was originally based on using as many AJAX circuits and components as possible. In addition, to provide a long-range AJAX, there existed the possibility of modifying ATAX missiles to incorporate the HERCULES guidance section communications system.

(U) The GS-18784 (Stovepipe) guidance set thus developed and produced for the initial tactical model of the HERCULES missile was almost identical to that of the AJAX missile, although it necessarily contained more circuits. The guidance unit was mounted in the nose of the solid propellant missile rather than the aft section, as it was in the early liquid propellant version. The antennas for communication with ground tracking radars were located in the linearizer fins adjacent to the guidance section.

(U) Although the GS-L8784 guidance set was expected to provide essentially the same performance and reliability as the AJAX set, a program review in 1957 indicated that it would become the limiting factor in missile producibility and reliability. This review also indicated that it would not be a good risk to commit the HERCULES program to the transistor guidance section, which had been developed in parallel with the vacuum tube type. The reasons were twofold. There was no assurance that an adequate supply of reliable and suitable transistors would be available: and there were yet some unknowns with respect to performance of transistor equipment in nuclear radiation fields. It was decided, therefore, to continue the use of vacuum tubes. It was also concluded that a mechanical redesign of the guidance section would be required in order to achieve a higher missile reliability than obtained in the AJAX. The missile nose location in the solid propellant missile afforded more available volume for improvements in design and layout of electronic guidance components.

(U) The new GS-19672 (Mushroom) guidance unit was about 30 percent larger in volume than the Stovepipe design, its diameter being increased to use the available cross-sectional area and its length being somewhat shortened. In addition to improving the overall missile reliability, the modular construction of the new guidance section provided better immunity to shock and vibration and facilitated mass production and field maintenance. Flight tests of prototype models of the Mushroom guidance set started in August 1958 and development was completed a year later. In July 1959, the Stovepipe guidance section was phased out of production and all new missiles produced were equipped with the new Mushroom. guidance set.47

Warhead Development

(U) In addition to the primary (nuclear) warhead, the HERCULES MC's called for development of an alternate high-explosive, fragmentation, rod, or other type conventional warhead. The nuclear payloads developed included large- and small-yield heads for use against formations of aircraft and single aircraft, respectively. The T45 fragmentation and T46 series cluster warheads were developed for use against low-altitude targets, bur the latter was never released for troop use. Because of the security classification involved, this study is limited to a brief summary of the conventional warheads.

(U) In the early phase of the R&D program, primary emphasis was placed on development of the T45 blast-fragmentation warhead as the interim armament for both the ATAX and HERCULES, pending availability of the T46 cluster warhead. The T45 head was generally considered to be more economical and easier to fabricate and to have a shorter development period than the more complex T46 warhead. The latter warhead, however, offered the HERCULES missile system two major advantages. It would provide a greater kill probability than the T45 against targers at all ranges and altitudes, particularly in the low-altitude region; and, in comparison with the primary warhead, it would not contaminate or damage the territory below its bursting point, permitting firings over friendly territory.48

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(U) The fact that the cluster warhead would present many difficult development problems had been recognized by BTL as early as October 1953.51 Aircraft Armaments, Inc., began design studies of the proposed T46 cluster warhead in early May 1954 under Contract ORD-1620. By July, problems incident to application of the warhead to the HERCULES missile were identified and it was concluded that a new and different type cluster design would be required.52 In the formal development program that began in September 1954, two approaches to the problem were investigated.

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(U) Although a significant improvement over the basic T46 design, the T46E1 warhead system still lacked the desired effectiveness and was expensive to produce. The Chief of R&D, DA, therefore requested that necessary action be taken to complete the development and test effort and to effect an orderly termination of the program. The Secretary of the Army approved the formal termination of the T46 project on 21 September 1961.55

(U) The R&D contract cost of conventional warheads for the HERCULES missile totaled $3,679,985. Of this amount, $260,430 went for development of the M17 (T45) fragmentation warhead and the remaining $3,419,555 for development of the T46 cluster warhead .

Ground Guidance Equipment

(U) The ground guidance equipment for the Basic HERCULES consisted of four primary subsystems: the acquisition radar, the target tracking radar, the missile tracking radar, and the computer. This equipment was housed in two van-type trailers, two dropbed trailers carrying the precision track antenna mounts and the acquisition antenna assembly. Since the missile design would permit intercepts beyond 50 nautical miles, the detection range of the acquisition radar on the 650-knot target was extended beyond 80 miles, and the target tracking capability was extended beyond 75 miles. In the redesign of ATAX ground guidance equipment to increase the range performance, BTL effected improvements in overall reliability, operability, and maintainability.

(U) The function of the acquisition radar was to detect aerial targets and provide a display of those targers on a plan position indicator. An electronic reference system facilitated the acquisition of any desired target by the target tracking radar. The maximum presentation range was 250,000 yards, or about 125 nautical miles. The acquisition antenna was mounted on a tripod supported drive unit capable of rotating (the antenna) at speeds of 5, 10, or 15 revolutions per minute (rpm). A new traveling-wave tube radio frequency (RF) amplifier improved the receiver noise figure and substantially increased the range performance over that realized with the earlier AJAX acquisition radar. The radar was continuously tunable in the S-band from 3100 to 3500 megacycles (mc) and operated at a peak power level of 1,000 kilowatts (kw). Its pulse width was 1.3 microseconds with a repetition frequency of 500 pulses per second (pps). In the battery control trailer, the acquisition range unit was redesigned to incorporate an aided manual tracking feature, thus easing the acquisition of high velocity targets. The Moving Target Indicator (MTI) was basically the same as in the AJAX, but it was redesigned for improved operation and increased stability.

(U) The changes made in the target and missile tracking radars were more visually obvious than those incorporated in the acquisition radar. A larger, reflector-type antenna of novel design replaced the lens antenna of the AJAX, and resulted in a significant increase in the radar range. Because of the increased loads of the larger antenna, the elevation drive in the HERCULES tracking antennas was redesigned to include four drive motors, two more than in the AJAX. The azimuth drive was changed from a friction drive to a gear drive, but still with the four drive motors of AJAX. To solve the wind loading problems created by the larger antenna and to protect radar components and servicing personnel from adverse weather conditions, both of the tracking radars were equipped with radomes made of silicone rubber-impregnated orlon. Another noteworthy change was the incorporation of a hard tube modulator to replace the AJAX hydrogen thyratron.

{I did not include a very poor photo reproduction of} (U) The HERCULES Missile & Target Tracking Radars and Acquisition Radar Emplaced at WSMR.

{page 87 - about 2 inches}

(U) The Missile Tracking Radar (MTR) was similar in many respects to the TTR. However, in addition to tracking the missile for obtaining position data, it also communicated guidance information and burst signals to the missile by means of coding of the multiple pulse outputs of the transmitter. Pulse coding systems, together with carrier frequency diversity, were used to preclude interbattery interference. These features also provided an added margin against jamming of the missile by enemy aircraft employing electronic countermeasures.

TABLE 3--(U) The NIKE HERCULES Command Guidance Systems

(U) The HERCULES computer was a DC analog device, which, in principle, operated like the AJAX computer but performed many more functions. The added functions were the result of (1) the increased range and flight time of the HERCULES missile; (2) the requirement to fly both AJAX and HERCULES missiles in the same battery; (3) the use of several atomic and conventional warheads with their special safety problems; and (4) the addition of surface-to-surface and low-altitude modes of operation. The HERCULES computer comprised over l00 operational amplifiers, 7 computing servos, 7 plotting-board servos, and almost 200 relays. In the pre-launch phase of an engagement, ~he computer received continuous target position information from the TTR and continuously predicted the location of possible intercept points. During the flight phase, the computer used position data from both the TTR and EIR to compute steering orders and the burst order for the missile and to compute data for the plotting board and other data displays. It was housed in the same number of cabinets of the same size as those used in the AJAX.

(U) An important consideration in insuring the continued tactical readiness of operational ground equipment was the provision for easy maintenance. In the development of this system, the contractor devised a maintenance scheme for routine daily, weekly, and monthly checks and adjustments with built-in test equipment. Normally, maintenance by the user was limited to the replacement of vacuum tubes, removable plug-in panels, and other items carried in the local ORD-7 spare complement. The established procedure for the repair and retest of defective units was a function of Ordnance maintenance personnel using especially designed Type IV test equipment.57

Launching & Handling Equipment

(U) Except for the elimination of servicing equipment for the liquid propellant sustainer motor, which was replaced with the solid propellant motor in 1957, the HERCULES launching and handling equipment consisted of those items originally proposed by DAC and approved for development in December 1954.58 The design philosophy of the equipment was essentially the same for the Basic HERCULES and the AJAX systems. Mobile or transportable equipment of existing AJAX sites could be readily adapted. When practicable, existing equipment and operating procedures could be used. Conversely, HERCULES equipment could be used for AJAX installations with the added advantage that the capability of the new equipment was retained when firing AJAX missiles.

Cross Section of NIKE HERCULES Underground Launcher Installation

{I did not include a very poor photo reproduction of} Page 92 - ???

(U) The decision to employ underground launcher installations at all NIKE sites within CONUS had been made early in 1954. The installation was based upon a design by the Corps of Engineers in conjunction with proposals from the Army Antiaircraft Command. Each site originally included three underground installations per battery, each subsurface magazine consisting of one launcher on an elevator and two above-ground satellite launchers. The original Type C magazines were designed specifically for NIKE AJAX and, because of the size of the structure and elevator, would accept only AJAX missiles and launchers. The Type B magazines were somewhat larger and would accept HERCULES launchers and either AJAX or HERCULES missiles; however, some modifications of the elevator were required to fire HERCULES missiles. The improved Type D magazines, later produced by the Corps of Engineers, incorporated modifications to allow installation of either ATAX or HERCULES equipment and provided increased access to missiles and section equipment.59

(U) The Douglas Aircraft Company designed the XM-36 launcher assembly for surface use by the field army and for use in Types B and D subsurface installations at fixed CONUS sites. As shown in the accompanying illustration, each subsurface installation for the HERCULES consisted of one elevator-mounted launcher and three above-ground satellite launchers, with subsurface storage for seven HERCULES missiles.60 To permit R6D test firings of HERCULES missiles, the AJAX Type B magazine installation was modified in accordance with the specifications adopted as standard for tactical site modifications. Detailed load tests of the modified elevator were completed in 1956, and HERCULES missile firings from an early R&D model of the elevator-mounted launcher began in January 1957.61

(U) Concurrently with development of the XM-36 launcher, DAC, in 1956, began design work on the cellular launching system for the HERCULES. Similar to the underground storage and servicing magazines adopted for the fixed-site AJAX and HERCULES batteries in CONUS, the cellular facility was designed to reduce operating personnel and land area requirements and to improve system reliability and state of readiness. The cellular launching battery contained 24 reinforced concrete cells in two groups of 12 each, with rollaway overhead doors. Each cell had its own launcher and missile, the latter being loaded by an overhead crane assembly running on a track the full length of the block. The design permitted remote control of all cell doors, launchers, and missiles by a single operator in a central control room. DAC, in conjunction with WSMR and the Corps of Engineers, constructed and tested an interim cellular system at ALA-3 in late 1957. Using the data collected in tests of this interim system, DAC then built the optimum cellular launcher at ALA-1 during the period March 1958 to April 1959. The first HERCULES missile was test fired from the facility on 24 June 1959. Although the cell launching produced no noticeable effects on missile flight, the destructive force of the booster motor blast caused extensive damage to the firing and adjacent cells. Another HERCULES firing from the cellular launcher, on 19 December 1959, also proved unsuccessful, and the development program was terminated.62

(U) The ground launching and handling equipment deployed with the Basic HERCULES system in June 1958 and classified as standard in November of that year met all military characteristics except those relating to mobility for field army use. Although designed with mobility as an original requirement, initial deployment of the Basic HERCULES was restricted to fixed CONUS sites, and certain mobility features were de-emphasized but not wholly discarded. For example, the trailer undercarriages were removed, but the vans were retained although they were attached to brick and mortar buildings. On the other hand, the design activity relating to launcher mobility was sharply curtailed.

(U) In its report of qualification tests of the semimobile system, conducted in 1958-59, the Air Defense Board noted that extensive site preparation, to include provision of concrete launcher pads and section revetments, was required. A further difficulty experienced with the launcher was its requirement for special handling equipment (M62 wrecker) for emplacement. The Board found the M261 missile transport trailer to be unsatisfactory, chiefly because it could not carry a complete round, and transporting of missiles and boosters separately involved time-consuming joining and dejoining operations.

(U) Among the mobility improvements developed by DAC were a suitable launcher capable of self-emplacement on and firing from dirt, a ready round missile transporter to replace the M261 transporter, trailer mounting of all generators and section equipment, and several accessory items such as cable reel racks and dollies. By early 1960, development and demonstration of the ready round transporter, M94 launcher mobility kit, and other items of the mobility package had been completed, and ARGMA made arrangements for procurement of the new trailers through the Ordnance TankAutomotive Command. The Army Air Defense Board accepted the HERCULES mobility equipment during a meeting held at Fort Bliss on 17-18 May 1960. Field qualification tests of the Basic HERCULES system, modified to include the mobility package, began in June 1960 and continued through September. The Air Defense Board conducted the tests in cooperation with DAC and Ordnance personnel. in conjunction with this mobility evaluation, air transportability tests were made on certain equipment of the field army system in November 1960 at Biggs Air Force Base.63 The common and peculiar items required for the semimobile role of the Basic HERCULES system were classified Standard A in May 1962.64

{I did not include a very poor photo reproduction of} Page 96 - ???

R&D Flight Test Summary

(U) During the 1955-59 period, the R&D contractor expended 277 missiles in the development, test, and evaluation of the Basic HERCULES weapon system. Except for additional flight tests associated with T46 warhead development, electronic countercountermeasure (ECCM) development, and ground equipment mobility improvements, the R&D test phase of the program ended on 1 January 1960. With the final R&D design release on 9 January 1960, the Basic HERCULES missile system passed into the industrial test phase. Firings of the Basic HERCULES were continued in 1960 under the Product Engineering Test Program, overlapping initial test firings of the Improved HERCULES system which began in April 1960.65

(U) The contractor fired the first 32 R&D rounds in support of the missile development test and evaluation program during the period January 1955 to July 1956, the first 28 tests being conducted with the lWAX ground guidance equipment and the last four tests for checkout of the new HERCULES ground equipment. Beginning with the system demonstration on 25 July 1956, the R&D test program served the broader purpose of evaluating the complete HERCULES missile and ground equipment. The first HERCULES missile (with ballast warhead) was fired against a QB-17 drone aircraft on 10 September 1956. This was followed by the successful intercept of a drone aircraft by a missile with the special warhead on 31 October 1956, and the first drone kill by a live T45 warhead round on 25 April 1957. The transition, in 1957, from a liquid to a solid propellant sustainer motor resulted in a more reliable propulsion system without degrading missile performance. Of the 277 contractor rounds fired during the 1955-59 period, 72 used the liquid sustainer motor and 205 used the XM-30 solid propellant motor. Another improvement to missile reliability came with the introduction, in August 1958, of the modular (Mushroom) guidance package, which later replaced the less effective Stovepipe guidance section in production missiles.

(U) The contractor began test firings of HERCULES prototype system #1 on 29 March 1957, using AJAX missiles. Tests of this prototype using HERCULES missiles commenced on 7 May and were concluded on 11 October 1957. The first prototype system was then transferred to Post Ordnance at WSMR for use in engineering evaluation firings, which began in April 1958. The other four sets of prototype ground equipment were delivered to the Air Defense Beard and other service agencies for use in personnel training and user tests. The accuracy phase of the contractor's R&D flight test program was conducted in 1958-59 (Rounds B103 through B277), concurrently with the engineering-user evaluation and troop training tests. Contractor firings of the Basic HERCULES from "C" Station at WSMR were sharply curtailed in 1960 and succeeding years, with 33 flight tests in 1960, 13 in 1961, 7 in 1962, and 2 during the first quarter of 1963.66

Engineering-User Test Program

(U: The BTL/DAC team met virtually all targer dates of the weaponization schedule through the prototype tests in 1957; however, the high rate of missile failures during the initial engineering-user tests delayed the type classification of the Basic HERCULES and threatened to disrupt the scheduled system deployments on 30 June 1958. The Ordnance engineering evaluation tests began at WSMR on 11 April 1958, followed by the initial package training tests by cadre personnel at McGregor Range on 28 April, and service tests by the Air Defense Board (ADB) on 29 May 1958. By late June 1958, 21 HERCULES firings had been conducted by these agencies, along with 32 R&D accuracy tests by the contractor, with the following results:67

. Total
Ord Engrg Evaluation 8 2 6
Package Training 8* 0 8
Service Tests 5 0 5
R&D Accuracy Tests 32 11 21

. 53 13 (24%) 40 (76%)
*These were practice firings conducted in May and June 1958 under phase one of Operation SNODGRASS.

(U) A WSMR study of the firings conducted through mid-May revealed an overall system inflight reliability of only 25 percent. In a briefing on the reliability study to AOMC officials, COL John G. Redmon, Chief of the Ordnance Mission at WSMR, attributed most of the failures to malfunction of the missile guidance package beacon, auxiliary power supply, and circuitry leading to the W-7 warhead. In view of these and other deficiencies yet to be corrected, Colonel Redmon reconrmended that the deployment of ground equipment proceed as scheduled, but that deployment of the HERCULES missiles be deferred.68 When subsequent test firings through mid-June 1958 failed to show any appreciable improvement in missile reliability, MG John B. Medaris, Commander of AOMC, urged the Chief of Ordnance to cancel the scheduled HERCULES shots in Operation SNODGRASS and to delete the HERCULES system from the press show (Project AMMO) to be held at WSMR on 30 June and 1 July. Be also reconrmended that deployment of missiles to operational sites be deferred pending the correction of deficiencies and delivery of modification kits.69


(U) Operation SNODGRASS, as originally planned, was a fullscale HERCULES test using special warheads against formations of target drones to study (1) the ability of the HERCULES missile components and circuits to operate in a nuclear environment; (2) the degree and type of damage inflicted upon representative aircraft targets; and (3) the extent of interference imposed by a nuclear environment on the signal propagation of the HERCULES acquisition and tracking radars. The test exercise was to have been conducted in the spring of 1959 at the AEC Nevada test site. In mid-April 1958, however, the original plan was scrapped and Operation SNODGRASS became a crash project to be completed before 1 September at a location other than the Nevada site. This aura of urgency was engendered by the anticipation of an international ban on nuclear testing in the atmosphere.

(U) Under the revised plan, approved on 25 April 1958, Operation SNODGRASS was to be conducted as part of a joint Army-Air Force defense test at Eglin Air Force Base. The Army's portion would be conducted in four phases by a CONARC Task Force headed by BG John T. Snodgrass, with AOMC furnishing coordination and support for Ordnance. In phase one (1 May - 15 June), the task force would be organized and trained at Fort Bliss. The second phase (16 June - 5 July) would entail the movement to Eglin Air Force Base and the emplacement and checkout of HERCULES equipment and instrumentation. Phase three would consist of final on-site training and six dress rehearsal flight tests (6-31 July), culminating in the (phase four) full-scale nuclear firings (1-31 August 1958).70

(U) NIKE HERCULES system number 1009 from the Air Defense Board at Fort Bliss was assigned the role of warhead firing battery, under command of CAPT R. L. Klenik. System number 1060 from C Battery, 738th Guided Missile Battalion, of the Philadelphia defense area, was assigned the role of instrumented missile firing battery, under command of CAPT F. E. Newland. This battery had just completed its package training at Fort Bliss, and, until its assignment to Task Force SNODGRASS, was to have been one of the first four HERCULES batteries to be activated on site. In phase one of the operation (1 May to 15 June), the ADB warhead firing battery fired five practice rounds at WSMR, and the instrumentation missile battery fired two sounds at McCregor Range. All seven of these practice firings were unsuccessful.71

(U) On 14 June 1958, DA suspended the (phase two) movement to Eglin for one week and also suspended the shipment of HERCULES missiles and W-7 warheads to operational sites, as AOMC had recommended.72 CONARC was of the opinion, however, that the move to Eglin should be undertaken as a calculated risk.73 Horeover, the AEC, which had reluctantly approved the operation, was evidencing more interest in the exercise.74 In consideration of these factors, the CONARC Cormnander lifted the suspension on Operation SNODGRASS on 16 June.75 Since the shipment of missiles to operational sites had already begun, the Chief of Ordnance decided, on 18 June, to stand fast on the initial deployment directive, pending resolution of the warhead pressure-drop problem. The directive was temporarily modified, however, to include only two missiles per site.76 At the same time, the Commander of the U. S. Army Air Defense Center and the Military Development Engineer for BTL, with the concurrence of OCO, decided to fire the HEBCULES in Project AMMO at WSMR.77

(U) By late June, a temporary fix had been developed for the warhead problem, 17 modification work orders had been printed and distributed for correction of the other technical deficiencies, and kits were enroute to the launch sites by air freight.78 These measures were apparently effective, for the HERCULES shot in Project AMMO and the six phase three firings in Operation SNODGRASS at Eglin were all successful.

(U) In its first public launching at Project AMMO on 1 July 1958, the HERCULES successfully intercepted a simulated 650-knot target flying at an altitude of 100,000 feet and a slant range of 79 50 miles. The six flight tests in Operation SNODGIASS successfully demonstrated the capability of the HERCULES to single out a specific target among a group of aircraft flying in formation. System 1009, the ADB warhead firing battery, fired three missiles armed with T45 warheads, destroying one QF80 and two Q2A drones. System 1060, the instrumented missile firing battery, also fired its three instrumented missiles successfully.

(U) The first round, an instrumented missile, was flown on 14 July against a single, 350-knot Q2A drone. The second round, armed with a T45 warhead and fired on 17 July, destroyed its 300-knot Q2A target drone in the first firing of a HERCULES missile with a live warhead near a populated area. The next two dress rehearsal rounds, flown in salvo on 24 July, were the first of the dual firings of the two batteries which were tracking the same target--a 300-knot q2A drone flying at 8,000 feet altitude and 50,000 yards range. The first round, with a T45 warhead, scored a kill on the target; the instrumented round, fired 1 second later, successfully intercepted the same target. In the second dual firing mission, on 29 July, the warhead missile and instrumented missile were fired in salvo 3 seconds apart against a formation of three FQ80 drones flying a crossing course at an altitude of 31,000 feet and a range of 81,000 yards. The warhead round picked off and destroyed the lead drone, and the instrumented missile intercepted the second drone which flew 5,000 feet behind the leader. The test results indicated that, with an atomic warhead, the first missile could have deafroyed ehe entire formation.80

(U) But the opportunity to demonstrate the nuclear capability of the HERCULES never materialized, as DA quite unexpectedly cancelled the full-scale atomic firings planned for phase four of the exercise. Nevertheless, the Task Force Commander and his staff were extremely confident that phase four could have been conducted with maximum safety and efficiency. In his final report on the operation, BG John T. Snodgrass stated:

While the cancelllation of the August 1958 firings prevented (the) Snodgrass Task Force from accomplishing its primary mission, two major goals were achieved. The firing of six preparatory and rehearsal rounds, all of which were successfut, clearly demonstrates that the U. S. Army has in being the ability to:

a. Plan, organize, train, move to a remote location, and establish an effective Nike Hercules air defense, all within a relatively short time-frame.

b. Plan, fabricate, install, and operate the instrumtentation necessary to acquire data on a full-scale Nike Hercules firing.81

Type Classification of the Basic HERCULES System

(U) Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (DCSLOG), in June 1958, directed the Chief of Ordnance to type classify the Basic HERCULES system as Standard A not later than the July meeting of the Ordnance Technical Committee.82 The committee took up the question on 10 July; however, the CONARC member blocked the action on the grounds that the capability of the system had not been successfully demonstrated in either user or package training tests,* and that the effectiveness of measures taken to correct major deficiencies was yet to be proved. He recommended that action to standardize the system be deferred for about 90 days, or until a nominal number of successful user flight test firings could be accomplished.83 In another item taken up on 10 July. the committee reclassified the NIKE AJAX system from Standard A to Standard B.84

(U) During the period 1 July to 31 October 1958, 75 missiles were fired in all phases of the HERCULES test program, with significantly improved results over firings conducted during the first 6 months of the year. Forty-one of these rounds were prototype missiles and the remaining 34 were production missiles. As shown in Table 4, 12 of the 34 production missiles were fired by the contractor in a system reliability demonstration, with nine successes and three failures; and 22 were fired by tactical units with 12 successes and 10 failures, for an overall reliability of 62 percent. Of the 41 prototype firings, 32 (78 percent) were successful. The higher reliability for these firings was attributed, in the main, to the introduction of new missile components designed to resolve technical deficiencies noted in earlier rests. For example, of the 24 R&D rounds fired by the contractor, nine were equipped with the new Mushroom guidance set, and all but one of them achieved their test objectives.85

(U) Basic NIKE HERCULES Flight Test Program
July - October 1958
Contractor: . . .
R&D Msls 24* 17 7
Pdn Msls 12 9 3
Total Contractor 36 26 10
. . . .
Service: . . .
Pkg Tng/Pdn Msls 22 12 10
Op SNODGRASS/R&D Msls 6 6 0
Total Service 28 18 10
. . . .
Ord Engrg/R&D Msls 11 9 2

Grand Total 75 53 (71%) 22 (29%)
* System Reliability Demonstration--3 rounds launched in July 1958 with HERCULES Production Set Nr. 1081 at McGregor Range; remaining 9 rounds launched at WSMR with the HERCULES Model #1 Ground Guidance Set.

SOURCE: BTL MFP, 15 Sep 59, subj: Inflt. Reliability - Case 27675-2, w Tables 1 thru 4. RSIC.

(U) In consideration of the successful system reliability demonstration by the contractor and the increased system reliability achieved in the engineering-user test program, DA type classified the Basic HERCULES weapon system as Standard A on 20 November 1958.86 Service tests. however, continued through July 1959, and the engineering evaluation at WSMR continued up to the final R6D release in early January 1960. Summaries of the service and engineering evaluations follow.

Service Test Program

(U) Since major areas of user responsibility had been explored in special test exercises (such as the Weapon Systems Evaluation Group ECM Tests No. 1 and 3, and the Task Force SNODGRASS test), the Commander of CONARC directed that user tests be terminated by 31 July 1959. Although a number of important tests could not be conducted by the cutoff date, sufficient contractor and Ordnance engineering test data were available to p ermit analysis from a user viewpoint. One exception was the mobility test which was postponed pending availability of suitable equipment.87

(U) Field qualification tests by the Air Defense Board had begun with the receipt of launching area equipment (HERCULES System No. 1009) in the fall of 1957. Following initial checkout at Done Ana Range, the equipment was moved, in early 1958, to WSMR, where two NIKE AJAX rounds and five HERCULES rounds were fired. It was then transported to Eglin Air Force Base and used to fire three additional HERCULES rounds in Operation SNODGRASS during July 1958. The equipment was returned to Done Ana Range in the fall of 1958, subsequently participating in the durability test at that site. Early in 1959, it was again emplaced at WSMR, where nine HERCULES rounds were fired during the period 26 February to 31 July 1959, with an interruption for one firing at McGregor Range on 10 July. During all of these ADB operations, a total of 69 launching area malfunctions were recorded, the most frequently recurring one (43 percent of the total) being associated with the universal launcher and its erecting beam.

{page 108-109 - about 11 inches - including ref to note 88}

(U) In summary, the ADB concluded that the Basic HERCULES was an accurate, maintainable, and reliable system capable of performing its primary mission of antiaircraft defense, and that it met or exceeded the major MC's in all respects except mobility.89 (The latter requirement was met with delivery of the mobility package in 1960.)

Final Engineering Evaluation

(U) The final Ordnance engineering evaluation of the Basic HERCULES system was predicated on data obtained during the contractor, engineering, and user tests performed during the period January 1958 to January 1960, inclusive. Excluding the 28 service tests mentioned above, 488 HERCULES missiles were fired during that period: 71 in the Ordnance engineering evaluation at WSMR, 175 by the contractor (Rounds B103 through B277). and 242 by tactical air defense units. Of the 242 user rounds, 235 were fired at McGregor Range, 2 in Alaska, and 5 in Okinawa.

(U) In reviewing the firing data recorded by the three test agencies, the Ordnance Mission at WSMR found certain anomalies, particularly in the interpretation of a successful mission. It was therefore necessary to establish a common basis for analyzing and interpreting the test data. In order to arrive at a consistent inflight reliability figure, certain tests conducted by the three agencies were excluded from consideration for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. No data on miss distance (even if ruled a success by the test agency).
  2. No data on intercept range.
  3. Failure due to warhead malfunction.
  4. Liquid sustainer motor used.
  5. Surface-to-surface mode used (surface-to-air firings only were considered).
  6. Low-altitude mode used with non-standard thrust limiter.
  7. Special rests where major non-standard or non-tactical elements were employed.
  8. Range safety.

{all of pages 111, 112, 113, and 2 inches of 114}

Cost Summary

(U) Research, Development, Test, and evaluation (RDTE) funds were provided for the Basic HERCULES system through FP 1960. Since the Basic and Improved HERCULES development programs overlapped each other by about 4 years and both programs were funded under the same contract, it was impossible to determine the precise development cost of the respective systems. A total of $123.8 million was funded through FY 1960 for RDTE purposes, excluding the nuclear warhead. As of January 1961, a total of $112.7 million was obligated under the prime R&D contract (ORD1082) with WECo. This contract represented about 91 percent of the total RDTE funding through FP 1960, and about 90.5 percent 92 of the identifiable R&D contracts listed in Table 6.92


{------------- Notes from chapter 5 ------------}

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