BOMARC System

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Four BOMARC Missiles in Launch Position

History of the BOMARC Missile System (1959-1972)

Langley AFB BOMARC Launch Site

The supersonic BOMARC missile was a Surface to Air Missile (SAM) designed to cary conventional and nuclear warheads against enemy aircraft. The BOMARC was launched from fixed launchers on prepared concrete sites. When launched the missiles were powered by rocket engines during a climb phase to cruise altitude where a pair of ramjet engines powered it to the target guided by the SAGE System. The final phase was a dive to the target where radar or proximity fuses would detonate the warhead (conventional or nuclear) within range of the target(s).

The original BOMARC program called for 40 sites and 4,800 missiles. That program was reduced several times and only 10 sites reach operational status supporting about 500 missiles. Eight of the operational sites were in the U.S. while two were in Canada. Each site was constructed with fixed launchers in multiples of 28 with the largest sites having 84 launchers. Seven sites were begun but were cancelled before they were operational.

Two models were produced:

  • 'A' Model - Liquid-fuel booster electron-tube based guidance radar and computer. Boeing/MARC CIM-10A
  • 'B' Model - Solid-fuel booster transistor based guidance radar and computer. Boeing/MARC CIM-10B
A Model B Model
Rocket One Aerojet General LR59-AG-13 liquid rocket One Thiokol XM-51 solid fuel rocket
Ramjets Two Marquardt RJ43-MA-3 Two Marquardt RJ43-MA-7 ramjets
Wingspan 18 ft 2 in 18 ft 2 in
Length 46 ft 10 in 45 ft 1 in
Height 10 ft 4 in 10 ft 4 in
Diameter 2 ft 11 in 2 ft 11 in
Weight 15,619 lbs 16,032 lbs
Speed 1,975 mph(Mach 2.8) 1,975 mph(Mach 2.8)
Range 260 miles 440 miles
Service Ceiling 65,000 ft 100,000 ft
Armament W-40 nuclear warhead -or-
1,000 lb conventional high-explosive warhead
W-40 nuclear warhead -or-
1,000 lb conventional high-explosive warhead
Cost $1,154,000 $1,150,000

The 'A' model had to be fueled before launch and required very hazardous liquid fuel. The 'B' model had a solid fuel booster, transistor electronics and because of the room saved, more ramjet fuel could be carried and it had a longer range.

The BOMARC missile system was integrated into the SAGE System and launches could be controlled by the SAGE direction centers. As the BUIC system came on line it also could also control launches and direct the missiles to their targets. As the threat of a Soviet manned bomber attack diminished and the SAGE system declined, the BOMARC system phased out with the 'A' model only sites closing in 1964 and the remaining sites closing 1972.

Sources:

  • Berhow, Mark, US Strategic and Defensive Missile Systems 1950-2004, Osprey Publishing, 20 Sep 2012, page 62.

Links:

See Also:



BOMARC Missile Sites (edit list)
Site Type State Unit A Model B Model From To GPS Notes
McGuire AFB NJ 46th ADMS (BOMARC) 28 56 1959 1972 40.035,
-74.441389
Otis AFB MA 26th ADMS (BOMARC) 28 28 1960 1972 41.682222,
-70.539167
Langley AFB VA 22nd ADMS (BOMARC) 28 28 1960 1972 37.099167,
-76.479722
Suffolk AFB NY 6th ADMS (BOMARC) 56 0 1959 1964 40.833333,
-72.680833
Dow AFB ME 30th ADMS (BOMARC) 28 0 1960 1964 44.853056,
-68.786389
Niagara Falls AFMS NY 35th ADMS (BOMARC) 0 56 1961 1969 43.1175,
-78.946944
Kincheloe AFB MI 37th ADMS (BOMARC) 0 28 1961 1972 46.348056,
-84.805
Duluth IAP MN 74th ADMS (BOMARC) 0 28 1960 1972 46.932222,
-91.883333
North Bay CFB ON 446 SAM Squadron 0 28 1962 1972 46.429444,
-79.471111
La Macaza CFB QC 447 SAM Squadron 0 28 1962 1972 46.411389,
-74.768889
Location Approximate
Camp Adair AFS OR 0 28 Cancelled 44.702222,
-123.2
Charleston AFB SC 0 28 Cancelled
Ethan Allen AFB VT 0 28 Cancelled 44.510556,
-73.163611
Paine AFB WA 0 28 Cancelled 47.911944,
-122.265278
Travis AFB CA 0 28 Cancelled 38.487260,
-121.883231
Truax AFB WI 0 28 Cancelled 43.190833,
-89.154167
Vandenberg AFB CA 0 28 Cancelled 34.729722,
-120.504167
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