Important Announcement

We would like to thank our loyal fellow members of the Nike Historical Society for your continued support over the years. We will be closing the Society, including the store, as of March 31, 2024. We have acquired a large repository of Nike technical information. The web site will continue to be available. It has been our pleasure to keep the legacy of the Nike missile's contribution of the successful conclusion to the Cold War.

the Board of Directors
Nike Historical Society



Ajax on launchers: 1 erect

The first deployment of Nike-Ajax was in Maryland during March 1954. Nearly 200 additional sites were constructed in strategic areas of the United States. This deployment lasted 4 years. The last Nike-Ajax site was deactivated in 1963.

Technical Specifications


Overall length:    34 ft. 10 in. with booster.  Missile only 21 ft.

Diameter:    12 inches

Wingspan:    4 ft., 6 in.

Overall weight:    2455 pounds. Missile only 1000 pounds.


Missile sustainer motor:    JP4 aviation fuel and; hypergolic starter fluid 1.) Aniline/furfuryl alcohol. 2.) Dimethyl-hydrazine. 3.) Red fuming nitric acid.  Red fuming nitric acid was the last starter fluid used.

Booster:    Solid propellant

Range:    25 to 30 miles

Speed:    Mach 2.3 (1679 mph)

Altitude limit:    70,000 feet

Guidance:    Command guidance from ground emplacement

Warhead:    High-explosive fragmentation. Three separate warheads located in the nose, mid-section, and aft section.

The missile was manufactured by Douglas Aircraft in California. The booster section was manufacture by the Hercules Powder Company, Radford Arsenal Virginia. The missile sustainer motor was manufactured by Bell Aircraft in Buffalo New York. The guidance system was manufactured by Western Electric.

An Ajax launch site Ajax in pit (magazine) An Ajax on erect launcher A just-launched Ajax 4 Ajax on launchers Ajax on horizontal launcher Ajax on horizontal launcher Just launched Ajax in distance Ajax partially erect, with crew Ajax on launcher NEAR MISS Ajax in warhead building Ajax fueling missile shipping container Ajax in shipping container Ajax on launchers