The MIM-14B Nike Hercules missile has been the most powerful aerial defense missile ever deployed by the United States. It was based on the Nike Ajax missile, from which had many components, as well as the launch vehicle and the radar guidance system. This was required to save on costs and to accelerate their deployment in those turbulent years. The first Nike Hercules were operational in 1958 and were deployed around the major American cities. In 1960, 365 batteries were deployed in the United States and in 1963 there were 134 batteries in Europe. The American batteries were on fixed mounts, but for the European ones a semi-mobile system was designed, although due to their enormous size, they were usually placed and left fixed. The Nike Hercules were retired in the early 1970s in the United States and around 1988 in Europe, with the arrival of the Patriot missile.

NIKE HERCULES gallery and more info


Información adicional

Ficha Completa
Country of origin

United States


Bell Laboratories, Douglas Aircraft Company, Western Electric


Surface-to-air missile

Entered service


Missile/bomb dimensions, (length x diameter)

12.00 x 0.80 (max.) meters

Missile/bomb weight

4,810 kg

Missile speed

Mach 3.65 (4,471 km/h)

Missile range

145 km – 50,000 meters ceiling

Guidance system

Radio command

Warhead, (explosive charge)

Weight: 200 kg – Explosive: HBX.6 – Type: T.45 HE conventional or W.31 Nuclear

Yield, (maximum)

M.97 warhead: 2 Kilotons – M.22 warhead: 20 Kilotons