GUIDED MISSILE GODDESS
ISike, a Greek word, is defined as "goddess of victory." We Americans look to ISike to guard our ramparts. However, many long-
suffering taxpayers eye askance the monumental expense need!
sary for the support of such a "goddess."
By HOWARD GOSHORN
Nl k E" has been dubbed the
"goddess with the electronic
brain." Also, it has been called
the taxpayers' billion-dollar headache.
No matter what it is called, the Nike
guided missile has been described as
the first really effective anti-aircraft
Nike is an around-the-clock, all-
weather watchdog — a deadly instrument of death anel destruction that can
blast the enemy day or night, fair
weather or foul.
It was conceived in 1945 by the
joint efforts of army technicians and
electronics engineers of the He'll Telephone Laboratory, Western Electric
Company and Douglas Aircraft Company. This was the year that the atom
bomb exploded over Japan and subsequently into the headlines. I [owever,
current mass production of control
equipment is accomplished largely
by Western Electric, with the missile
ancl component parts of the Nike svs-
tem produced by Douglas and Western Electric, ancl spread among sup-
liers and sub-contractors in more than
Operating on push-button radar
control, this guided missile can track
a bomber into the plotting area, chase-
it around a 360-degree turn if necessary, speed like a white, unshakable
demon along its vapor trail anel plant
its lethal charge in a v ital spot. Nike
experts claim that it is not even necessary to get a direct hit to register a
Those who have seen it in action
under simulated battle conditions describe its accuracy as almost uncanny.
Top army commanders say that the
very knowledge- of its existence may
prove a powerful deterrent to a sne»
attack by Russian war lords.
An enemy plane, at 50,(KMI feet, »
invisible to the naked eve. But to tl"-'
all-seeing electronic eye of radar even
foot of the plane's progress is clocks'
with needle-point accuracy. As a m**j
ter of fact, the enemy bomber wo"''
be considered "dead" when more th-'1
25 miles from its target. It would Vf
caught in an invisible celestial xv'C
which, army tests have demonstrate
devours four of every five victims *
A pencil-shaped missile, nan"'
after the mythological Greek g"'ll'l'~j
of victory, Nike i.s 20 feet long, a W
thick, and weighs in the ncigliborh"1.'
of a ton. It has an explosive-, ato'"']
warhead that de-eils out death "."^
destruction, and a highly sc-nsit'
electronic "brain," the amazing "cC'
nicy of which would baffle the a%l
age layman. , j
In order to "kick" this "verslS
rocket into high gear during the' '"'..
seconds of flight, a 300-pound "b<
ter" unit is attached to its tail. t'"j
the proper initial speed is att.'i'",,,
seconds later and 20,000 feet into
stratosphere, the booster — a s'!(„
chunk of heatfused metal — eh'te''',,
and plunges earthward. Crounin'"'",1!
most eif whom are totally uninl1"'" .,
as to Nike, but who have at 'cAi.
layman's working knowledge "I
laws of gravity, ask the quest*!
what becomes of the boosters. '
where do thev- land? j.
In actuality the boosters fall >xi 2
lessly into predetermined disp'y
areas which are an essential p1'
eeich Nike installation. The
"Hit the ;
r"te as tl
, A top
"? from '
fct a 1,,',.
r**pt w h
s,, rmv n
tends that actual firing tests at pr:
FAcrrs l-'onrxi News, June-