Nike Zeus and Derivatives

sferrin

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Just some pictures. Any information on it would be greatly appreciated. (That is, beyond what's on Andreas' site ;) )


Had some computer problems. Got to reformat my C drive yesterday so it'll probably be tomorrow or the next day before I get the pics up.
 

sferrin

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Sorry for the delay I've had a boatload of computer problems the last week or so (new MB and vid card, lots of BSODs, etc etc) Some of these have been scaled down by half.
 

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elmayerle

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If I'm not mistaken, the upper stage of the Nike-Zeus was used as the starting point for the air-launched ABM that Avro-Canada did PD work on; it would have been launched from advanced Arrows.
 

sferrin

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Sentinel Chicken said:
Now if I remember right, Nike Zeus-B is the same as the Spartan missile?

Nope. There are some subtle (and not so subtle ) differences. The main visible one being the shape of the 3rd stage fins. Here's a recent email that's bound to add to some of the confusion :D

Regarding this picture (one with Sprint and Spartan/Zeus I've attached):

http://srmsc.org/mis1000.html

I wrote:

"I was looking at your most recent update and you indicate that you changed a caption from Spartan to Zeus. If you look closely at the 3rd stage fins they are those of the Spartan rather than Zeus. I think you had it right to start with. Fantastic site by the way."

The webmaster wrote:

"Scott,

Interesting...... Admittedly, my main interests are the computers and radars, so I'll leave it to you missile experts to decide. I've looked at several Zeus photos (via google)--I'm still not sure which is which.

Here's the email from the archivist at the White Sands Missile Range Museum:

--------------------------------------------

Hi Dave:

Thanks for the informative website.

However, I have one small correction. The caption for the photo at URL http://www.srmsc.org/mis1000.html says the missile on the right is the Spartan.
This is not correct. That missile is the Nike Zeus, which was the predecessor to the Spartan. In addition to many technological improvements, the Spartan was longer and larger in diameter. The specs for both are below:

Spartan:

Missile Spartan
Length 16.8 m overall
Diameter 1.08 m
Fin span 2.98 m
Mass 13100 kg
Maximum speed >Mach 4
Range 740 km
Ceiling 560 km
First stage Thiokol TX-500 2200 kN
Second stage Thiokol TX-454
Third stage Thiokol TX-239
Warhead nuclear W-71 nuclear
5 Mt

Nike Zeus:

Length: 14.73m (48ft 4in)
Diameter: 0.91m (3ft)
Span: 2.44m (8ft)
Weight: 10,350kg (22 800lb)
Range: 400km (250 miles)
Ceiling: 280km (174 miles) - altitude obtained during ASAT test 1st Stage Motor: Thiokol TX-135, 450,000lb thrust 2nd Stage Motor: Thiokol TX-238 3rd Stage Motor: Thiokol TX-239
Guidance: Radio command
Warhead: W-50 Thermonuclear, 400kt

The photo was taken at White Sands Missile Range. The Zeus was tested at White Sands, at Kwajalein, and at Point Magu, California, but the Spartan was never tested at White Sands, only at Kwajalein and Meck Island.

So, it might be appropriate to indicate that the Missile in the photo is a Zeus, but its appearance is very much like the Spartan.

---------------------------------------------------
Doyle Piland
Archivist/Webmaster
White Sands Missile Range Museum"


To which I responded with the 2nd attached picture here:

"The easiest identifier is the 3rd-stage fins. I've included a comparison image. As for Spartan having never been launched at White Sands the photo in question is of mockups I believe. I suppose they could have tested a Spartan 3rd stage with a Zeus 1st and 2nd but regardless, the 3rd stage fins in the photo are clearly those of Spartan. (Interestingly enough I had that same book growing up. :) )

I've looked at them a little closer now and the Spartan neck-down from the 2nd to 3rd stage is a bit more severe than on Zeus also. However the paint scheme of the missile in question most closely matches that of Zeus in the locations of the wrap-around graphics and also its neck-down matches more closely that of Zeus. Its 3rd stage fins are definitely those of Spartan though. Looks like they slapped 3rd stage Spartan fins on a Zeus. Definitely a head-scratcher. I'll look into it a little further and if I find out anything I'll let you know.

Scott"


So does anybody know for sure what that thing is in the picture?
 

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sferrin

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Here is a Zeus on a trailer at WSMR but you'll note it's got the Zeus' fins on the 3rd stage. (That's also a Zeus being launched in the background)
 

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Andreas Parsch

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sferrin said:
I've looked at them a little closer now and the Spartan neck-down from the 2nd to 3rd stage is a bit more severe than on Zeus also. However the paint scheme of the missile in question most closely matches that of Zeus in the locations of the wrap-around graphics and also its neck-down matches more closely that of Zeus. Its 3rd stage fins are definitely those of Spartan though. Looks like they slapped 3rd stage Spartan fins on a Zeus. Definitely a head-scratcher. I'll look into it a little further and if I find out anything I'll let you know.

So does anybody know for sure what that thing is in the picture?

I fully agree with your analysis. The 3rd-stage fins are Spartan, but the first two stages look like Zeus B (the diameter of the 2nd-stage diameter appears to be slightly smaller that of the 1st stage, which (AFAIK) wasn't the case for Spartan).
 

sferrin

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I rarely bump stuff but with all the new members since this thread was started I was wondering if anybody has more info on this interesting missile.
 

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Now that's one impressive and powerful image!!!!!

Thanks

Regards
Pioneer
 

Zoo Tycoon

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As impressive as the missile was, the supporting radar, i.e. the Zeus Acquisition Radar (ZAR) was just awesome. It consisted of separate transmitter and receiver each the size of a basket ball pitch. The transmitter had three enormous horns, each covering 120 deg of arc. This assembly rotated and transmitted microwave energy on to a beam forming fence the size of a basketball stadium, no kidding a 30m high girder structure that went 360 deg around the circumference.

If anyone has some really good quality photo's it would be great to post them, as all I've ever seen are really grainey, fuzzy, retouched jobs.
 

sferrin

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Interesting:

http://cgi.ebay.com/NH04-NIKE-ZEUS-A-on-Launch-Platform-White-Sands-Print_W0QQitemZ380147710119QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item588291b8a7
 

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sferrin

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Not a Zeus A specific video but it does have a nice color clip of a Nike Zeus A (and Zeus B ) launch. Unfortunately it's in slow motion so you really can't get a good feel for it's speed (at 11,000lbs and 450,000lbs thrust liftoff it must have been QUICK). Also some good launches of Nike Hercules, but again, most are in slow motion with only one showing it's true speed. Makes Patriot look slow. Also Sergent, Hawk, Lacross, Honest John, Little John, and others. Oh, and a Nike Hercules Corporal kill and an Honest John kill by Hawk.

 
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Zootycoon said:
If anyone has some really good quality photo's it would be great to post them, as all I've ever seen are really grainey, fuzzy, retouched jobs.
Here's a PDF from a WSMR history publication and some images from within that publication.
 

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RyanC

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Request:
Could we move this over to the "Missile Projects" Forum and get it renamed to "Nike Zeus and Derivatives"?

Anyway, here's a link to some images I scanned in of Nike ZEUS at Archives II's photographic floor. I could probably get more and better images at a later visit, but hey...

NOTE: You can download the original images by clicking on ACTIONS: VIEW ALL SIZES and "ORIGINAL"

111-SC-573460 - Donald Douglas Jr and NIKE ZEUS by RyanCrierie, on Flickr


111-SC-577846 - Nike Zeus at WSMR - 1960 by RyanCrierie, on Flickr


111-SC-578528 - Nike Zeus launch at WSMR - 4 Sep 1960 by RyanCrierie, on Flickr


111-SC-578560 - Static test of new Nike Zeus ZW-9 Configuration at WSMR - 10 Aug 1960 by RyanCrierie, on Flickr


111-SC-578569 - Nike Zeus ZW-12 launch at WSMR - 1 Dec 1960 by RyanCrierie, on Flickr


Nike Zeus Test Radar by RyanCrierie, on Flickr
 

RyanC

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Hands Across History, November 2006 (Volume II, Letter IV)

has this handy guide and photo comparison:

Nike-Zeus A: "Winged" Configuration. - Resembled a supersized Nike-Herc, and sometimes mis-IDed as a Nike Herc. First fired in August 1959.

Nike-Zeus B: "Canard" Configuration. First fired in August 1960.

Army Launch Area 5 (ALA-5) was built for Nike-Zeus; and it was later redesignated Launch Complex (LC) 38 at WSMR.

It consisted of two R&D launch cells, one tactical launch cell, and five radar buildings. Missile Assembly Building Sixteen (MAB-16) was where most of the Zeus assembly/checkout was done.

When JFK visited WSMR on 5 June 1963, they actually launched a Nike Zeus B for him as a firepower demo. ::)

In another issue of Hands Across History (November 2010), they talked about the briefing JFK got, and included a handwritten non-classified briefing paper scan which gives the maximum miss distance that a Nike ZEUS (B?) can miss and still kill an ICBM RV -- 800' feet.
 

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RyanC

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THE EAGLE
24 January 2013

Kwaj radar achieves 'first'
Sharon Watkins Lang
SMDC Command Historian

[photo of it next to sea]
The ZEUS Acquisition Radar receiver was housed atop an eight-story building. The receiver revolved “on the world’s largest precision ball bearing – 1.35 feet in diameter.”

[photo of components inside]
Installation of the ZEUS Acquisition Radar receiver signal processing group in November 1961.

The U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll ZEUS Acquisition Radar received its first signal returns from an Intercontinental ballistic missile ICBM on Jan. 24, 1962. This was the initial test of the ZAR against a real target.

The ZAR was one of four radars in the NIKE-ZEUS anti-ballistic missile system constructed on Kwajalein. It worked in concert with a discrimination radar, two target track radars, three missile track radars, battery control equipment, a target interceptor computer, and four ZEUS launch cells. The ZAR was a track-while-scan radar that would scan the heavens to locate potential targets approaching the protected area. The data was transmitted to the discrimination radar, which would analyze the possible threats and select the targets from the decoys. This information was then forwarded to the target track radars. In an era with few onboard guidance systems, the missile track radars would guide the interceptor.

The largest single construction project of the early 1960s, the ZAR complex consisted of a transmitter, a receiver and a power plant. The ZAR Transmitter consisted of three antenna arrays in a horizontal triangular arrangement. Rotating in a horizontal plane at three and a half revolutions per minute, the three-sided transmitter could scan 100 million cubic miles of space per second. Operating in the L-band, each transmitter, equipped with two wideband klystron tubes, could be set to operate at its own frequency. This design and method of operation produced new images every six seconds.

Search signals from the transmitter were bounced back to the ZAR receiver, which was designed to rotate in sync with the transmitter. The receiver was a Luneberg lens with an associated reflecting ground plane. The “solid, hemispherical” lens itself was “constructed of thousands of polyfoam blocks, containing fine metal slivers, to obtain the necessary variation in dielectric constant.”

Feed horns and related equipment were situated on a truss system at the periphery of the lens. Incoming signals then would be focused by the lens and reflected by the ground plane and received by one or more of the feed horns, based upon the azimuth and elevation of the signal. The subsequent data was processed by the ZAR’s signal processing equipment, which would detect and consolidate radar returns, initiate tracks of new objects, maintain existing tracks, comparing new positions with expected locations based on earlier data, and predict impact points. It was this parameter that determined which objects were threatening. The ZAR complex on Kwajalein was deactivated two years later in November 1964.
The ZAR would be replaced by a new phased array radar the Multifunction Array Radar or MAR.
 

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Gator62

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I stumbled onto this website and it was good to see a thread on a missile that I worked on. When I graduated from college, I went to work for Douglas Aircraft in Missiles & Space. I assigned to Nike Zeus Program and in propulsion. The "B" Missile was already in flight test and the "C" Missile (Spartan) was on the drawing board. Within the company, Spartan was DM15C (Douglas Missile, 15=Nike Zeus, C Model). There was also an "S" Missile that was at the ready.
 

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Here's a Time of Flight Graph for Zeus A and Zeus B from WSEG 45

Revelant bit:

A high performance multi-stage rocket using combined aerodynamic and reaction control in a Canard configuration is to be used as the NIKE-ZEUS anti-missile missile.

A solid rocket booster provides thrust for 5 seconds and then separates at about 5.4 seconds after launch.

A sustainer solid-propellent rocket stage then fires, and by providing about 36 g's of axial acceleration, increases missile velocity to 11,400 ft/sec at burnout within about 19 seconds after launch.

Aerodynamic guidance is provided during sustainer action by the single guidance unit associated with the jet head.

Upon separation of the sustainer or at any time it is required thereafter, the jet head is further maneuvered by the same autopilot and guidance unit to eliminate end game errors. A solid-propellant reaction motor providing 100 g seconds of impulse exhausts for 3 seconds through four swiveling nozzles embedded in the aerodynamic control surfaces to provide exoatmospheric control.

A 20 g maneuver capability is maintained above 100,000 ft. altitude out to nearly 25 n.mi. and above 90,000 ft. altitude to beyond 50 n.mi.

Times of flight and maneuver capabilities of the Wingless NIKE-ZEUS missile are shown in Figure 2, together with the 75-second time-of-flight curve for the Winged (R&D) NIKE-ZEUS missile it will replace.
 

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Gator62 said:
The "B" Missile was already in flight test and the "C" Missile (Spartan) was on the drawing board. Within the company, Spartan was DM15C (Douglas Missile, 15=Nike Zeus, C Model). There was also an "S" Missile that was at the ready.
Was "S" the Project 20 / Advanced Spartan / Improved Spartan / Spartan II missile; or was it for something else; such as Anti-Satellite (ASAT) work?
 

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Gator62 said:
I stumbled onto this website and it was good to see a thread on a missile that I worked on. When I graduated from college, I went to work for Douglas Aircraft in Missiles & Space. I assigned to Nike Zeus Program and in propulsion. The "B" Missile was already in flight test and the "C" Missile (Spartan) was on the drawing board. Within the company, Spartan was DM15C (Douglas Missile, 15=Nike Zeus, C Model). There was also an "S" Missile that was at the ready.

Do you recall the weight of the Zeus A? It's typically given as "11,000lbs" (about half of Zeus B ) and with the same 450,000lb thrust booster I'd think that thing would haul ass off the rail. Was its acceleration much higher than Zeus B?
 

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Gator62 said:
"S" was anti-satellite. I worked on Improved Spartan but only a paper missile.
Do you remember much about Improved Spartan? We have a Spartan/Sprint thread over <A HREF="http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8778.0.html">HERE</A>.

Improved Spartan stuff starts on Page 6; from what little we understand of it in open sources; it would have had a new third stage which would have had the capability of being restarted in space after a 50-60 second coast phase, enabling "loiter" ABM; along with a smaller warhead compared to "Standard" Spartan.
 

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Gator62 - Welcome!! You are going to be interrogated in a friendly manner here. There are quite a few people interested in the work and the systems that you have worked on. So any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Regarding designations, have a look at http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11494.msg110253.html#msg110253 which summarises the Douglas designations of the various Zeus/Spartan missiles - at least what we think they are.
 

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All the designations are basically correct except I do not recall ever using the DM15X or X2 on any drawings or specifications. Nike X and X2 were Systems which used Nike Zeus or Spartan.

The basic differences are:
DM15 = Nike Zeus - Nike Hercules with new booster
DM15A = Nike Zeus A - New booster, new sustainer, warhead and guidance section, and third stage/control section
DM15B = Nike Zeus B - Same booster and sustainer as A, but new third stage fins
DM15C = Spartan - Same booster Dia. as B but new propellant, Sustainer same Dia. as the booster with same propellant as the booster, new warhead and guidance section and same third stage motor/new control section.
DM15S = Modified B
 

sferrin

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Gator62 said:
All the designations are basically correct except I do not recall ever using the DM15X or X2 on any drawings or specifications. Nike X and X2 were Systems which used Nike Zeus or Spartan.

The basic differences are:
DM15 = Nike Zeus - Nike Hercules with new booster
DM15A = Nike Zeus A - New booster, new sustainer, warhead and guidance section, and third stage/control section
DM15B = Nike Zeus B - Same booster and sustainer as A, but new third stage fins
DM15C = Spartan - Same booster Dia. as B but new propellant, Sustainer same Dia. as the booster with same propellant as the booster, new warhead and guidance section and same third stage motor/new control section.
DM15S = Modified B

Is the 11,000lb weight figure for Zeus A accurate? That's less than half that of Zeus B, and if they have the same booster and sustainer I'd think they'd be closer in weight. Thanks. And let me 2nd that you'll probably have your brain picked here. :)
 

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Sorry, can't help you with the weight discrepancy. The "A" Missile program was over and the "B" Missile was in flight test when I joined Douglas.
 

sferrin

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Gator62 said:
Sorry, can't help you with the weight discrepancy. The "A" Missile program was over and the "B" Missile was in flight test when I joined Douglas.

Any idea how many Zeus A's were flown before they switched to the B? I seem to recall it being less than 10 but I can't find a source. And thanks for letting us pick your brain. :)
 

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I have no idea on how many tests were of the "A" missile. It stands to reason that there weren't to many because couldn't keep the control fins on. One of the first indoctrinations we received on the Nike Zeus Program was watching the films of the first few flight tests at White Sands. Back then, we learned from our failures.
 

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A picture of the upper half of a Nike Zeus A from "Rockets of the Armed Forces" by Erik Bergaust, 1966.
 

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Nike Missile Site Diagram
 

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Several Zeus A shots


It's no slouch. :eek:

0:30, 13:09, 27:22
 
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Ara there any (good quality) Nike Zeus family drawings? I had searched on the web, and found nothing useful. Maybe someone knows a drawing coming from a book or an official doc... Thanks.
 

Gator62

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Ara there any (good quality) Nike Zeus family drawings? I had searched on the web, and found nothing useful. Maybe someone knows a drawing coming from a book or an official doc... Thanks.
The only drawings I have are of Spartan.
 

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