MIM-14 Nike Hercules
| Nike-Hercules ： ウィキペディア英語版|
The Nike Hercules (initially designated SAM-A-25, and later MIM-14), was a solid fuel propelled two-stage surface-to-air missile, used by U.S. and NATO armed forces for medium- and high-altitude long-range air defense. It was normally armed with the W31 nuclear warhead, but could also be fitted with a conventional warhead for export use. Its warhead also allowed it to be used in a surface-to-surface role, and the system also demonstrated its ability to hit other short-range missiles in flight. Hercules was replaced in the long-range anti-aircraft role by the higher performance and considerably more mobile MIM-104 Patriot.
Hercules was developed as the successor to the earlier MIM-3 Nike Ajax, adding the ability to attack high-flying supersonic targets and carrying a small nuclear warhead in order to attack entire formations of aircraft with a single missile. Development went smoothly, and deployment began in 1958 at new bases, but eventually took over many existing Ajax bases as well, reaching a peak of over 130 bases in the US alone. The Nike Hercules was more advanced and Nike Ajax was roughly comparable to the Soviet SA-2 Guideline medium range missile. As Russian bombers never came, no Nike Hercules was tested in combat,〔(nikemissile.org )〕 while the Soviet missile saw considerable use during the Vietnam War against US aircraft flying at moderate or high altitudes, and resulted in development of elaborate tactics and countermeasures.
Throughout, Hercules was the subject of a lengthy and acrimonious debate due to complaints from supporters of the US Air Force's competing CIM-10 Bomarc system, which ultimately proved unsuccessful and saw limited deployment. US Hercules sites began wide-scale deactivation in the United States during the 1970s as the threat of Soviet bombers subsided with the growth of ICBM forces, but remained a front-line weapon in Europe, with the last units deactivated in 1988.
Several modifications of the Hercules system were considered but not put into production. Extensive studies into a mobile version were carried out, but never deployed in favour of other designs. The vacuum tube-based electronics, inherited from the early-1950s Ajax, were examined for potential solid state upgrades, but not deployed. Study into an upgraded version of the Hercules for the anti-ballistic missile role was carried out, but this later evolved into the considerably different LIM-49 Nike Zeus design. Hercules would prove to be the last development of Bell's Nike team; Zeus was never deployed and its follow-ons were developed by different teams.
==Development and deployment==
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