To meet the need for medium and high altitude air defense the Nike Hercules was created to counter large squadrons of strategic bombers. Built to carry a nuclear warhead its role was to fly into a wave of attacking aircraft and detonate wiping out formation of bombers in a single atomic blast. In the event of an attack on the United States, the Nike Hercules was the last line of defense.
Conventional explosive fragmentation warheads were also available for the Nike Hercules which were most often used in training firings.
In addition to targeting aircraft Nike Hercules could also counter ballistic missiles. In testing it successfully intercepted short range ballistic missiles.
The Nike Hercules Story : This film is an overview of the Nike Hercules system and the Nike batteries once common in the United States. Tests conducted here at White Sands Missile Range of the Nike Hercules are featured.
Fort Bliss - The Heart of Army Air Defense : This film provides an overall look at the history of Army Air Defense. Many demonstrations of historically significant air defense systems are presented. This film was made in cooperation with White Sands Missile Range.