Western Electric MIM-3 Nike Ajax

MIM-3 Nike Ajax

RoleSurface-to-air missile
In service1954–1970

The United States Army’s Nike Ajax was the world’s first operational surface-to-air missile (SAM), entering service in 1954. Nike Ajax was designed to attack conventional bomber aircraft flying at high subsonic speeds and altitudes above 50,000 feet (15 km). Nike was initially deployed in the US to provide defence against Soviet bomber attacks, and was later deployed overseas to protect US bases, as well as being sold to various allied forces. Some examples remained in use until the 1970s.

Source: MIM-3 Nike Ajax on Wikipedia

Western Electric MIM-3 Nike Ajax Walk Around
PhotographersMike Burton, Vladimir Yakubov
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The MIM-3 Nike Ajax was the world’s first operational surface-to-air missile system. It was developed by the United States Army in the 1950s to defend against Soviet bomber attacks. The Nike Ajax used a two-stage rocket booster and a radar-guided warhead to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft at high altitudes and speeds. The missile system was deployed at several sites across the US and its allies, forming a ring of air defense around major cities and military bases. The Nike Ajax was later replaced by the more advanced MIM-14 Nike Hercules, which had a longer range and a nuclear warhead option.

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