The Ottawa Herald from Ottawa, Kansas on November 8, 1961 · Page 10
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The Ottawa Herald from Ottawa, Kansas · Page 10

Ottawa, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, November 8, 1961
Page 10
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!Nike Missiles Bloom And Boom In The Desert THE NIKE-ZEUS — This is the defensive test missile of the future, one designed to carry nuclear warhead and to knock out enemy intercontinental brll' tics missile in outer space. (Army Photo) PUFF OF SMOKE - This Nike-Ajax fired by Pleasant Hill, Mo., battery exploded at separation of missile and booster. Both parts fell to desert floor. Big puff is exploding missile. Smaller spot with streamers ii spent booster. By ROBERT B. WELLINGTON "Let's call this a report to you stockholders." This is the way an Army colonel opened his talk recently to a group of newsmen from this area on a tour of Fort Bliss, Tex. At this sprawling home of the missiles, we learned we have an investment in a million acres of desert, 3,500 buildings and 24,000 soldiers whose payroll of $100 million a year has brought a boom to adjacent El Paso and made' Juarez, just across the Mexican border, probably the most sinful city in this hemisphere. "Your profit," the colonel told us, "is protection." That afternoon we were taken to nearby McGregor Range to see some evidence of this profit. To that range annually go missile teams from around the world to get in their practice work against the war that might come. Here we saw a team from Germany fire a Hawk, just a firecracker as missiles go. These little missiles are mobile, and carried in clusters of three. The men from Germany fired a Hawk at a drone, a radio-controlled plane about the size of the merry-go-round plane Junior rides at a carnival. They hit their target at 18,000 feet, 16 miles away. A battery from Pleasant Hill fired its Nike- Ajax, a bigger guided missile. It is supposed to hit an airplane at 60,000 feet and 25 miles away. First shot of the Pleasant Hill battery, a twin to that battery located near Gardner, exploded as the booster separated from missile proper. Both went up in a puff. But a short time later, this same battery knocked off a small drone, l-170th the size of a Russian bomber at a distance of 32 miles and 28,000 feet, far beyond the normal Ajax range. Fired by a New York battery that afternoon was a Nike-Hercules, big sister to the Ajax. This guided missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, one would knock out a fleet of bombers, ped, the Army declined to say. This Hercules has range of more than 75 miles and up to 150,000 feet. Armed with a nuclear warhead, one would knock off a fleet of bombers. These Nike installations presently ring major industrial centers of U.S. and form the main line of defense against assault by aircraft. To the north of McGregor, at White Sands, N. M., home of the atomic bomb, the Army is testing a big brother to the Hercules, the Nike-Zeus. Purpose of this guided missile is to hunt out and kill in outer space an intercontinental ballistics missile which might be carrying this way a 50-megaton bomb. As the colonel explained it, we are trying to stop a bullet with a bullet. While we have, the Army says, a Nike system 85 per cent effective against airplanes, jet or otherwise, we have little defense against an ICBM fired deep inside Russia, through outer space and onto Kansas. The Army hopes Nike-Zeus is the answer. It is betting heavily on it. So far tests show the Army is making a good bet. Next spring, from our West Coast, the Army will fire an Atlas ICBM southwest across the Pacific. At a remote atoll, the Army is building a Zeus site. A Zeus anti-missile missile will be fired at the Atlas ICBM. If it kills the Atlas, we may be on our way to devising a system to protect us from outer space missiles. As a stockholder in this business you should know that this Nike-Zeus network is going to cost upwards of a billion dollars. Its construction, in order that we might realize a profit, protection, is four years away. b ,,#\ffi$$tm 11 '^"tf&yf i. r , t 3 ' c j _ P r t . * SY ^" l "ir % E 'k<*^f-i "', _ NIKE-HERCULES — This 40-foot guided missile can knock down bombers more than 70 miles away at altitudes over 100,000 feet. (Herald Photos By Robert Wellington) LITTLE easy target for TARGET — This radio-controlled drone can fly over 250 mph at 20,000 feet but is Army missies, even though it is 1470th the size of Russian bomber. l^fpH^ tuft- aftftf 1 l^|gi;^1i^ Ji,: >^f7S*^"-'--3! ' A-JK ON THE SPOT LECTURE — An Army major explains firing practice pro- teams come here annually to practice fire missiles. Behind him is drone at whicfc eedures to visitors at McGregor missile range near El Paso. Combat missile missiles are fired. KITIFR TRIO Armv infield Ii ta Army in field, one of these ~t J L-i i t, n k' A onHmob > le '«»«. Capable of operating with knocked down small drone plane at 18,000 feet, 16 miles away. BIG AND DANGEROUS is this Nike-Hercules guided missile, shown here of attacking planes. Some of these Hercules missiles are located at Nike base* in down position at McGregor range. Note four barrels on rear which hold solid ringing Kansas City, propellant booster. This missile can carry nuclear warhead to knock down fleet

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