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A Bomarc missile begins its "climb phase" of launch. The midcourse phase and homing dive used ramjets.


CIM-10 Bomarc missile.
Statistic. Data.
Type. Ground-controlled interception.
Height. 46.6 ft (14.2 m).
Diameter. N/A.
Weight. 15,500 pounds (7,000 kg).
Warhead. Either a large 1,000 pounds (450 kg) conventional warhead or a W40 nuclear warhead (7–10 kiloton yield).
Warhead yield. 10kt.
Accuracy (CEP). N/A, but obviously a small zone.
Speed. Mach 2.5 to 2.8.
Steering. N\A, but probably akin to those of comparable role, configuration and era.
Nationality. American.
Made by. Boeing Airplane Company's Pilotless Aircraft Division.
Guidance system Onboard radar for terminal guidance. The Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE), an automated control system used by NORAD for detecting, tracking and intercepting enemy bomber aircraft.
Range. The maximum range of the IM-99A was 400 km (250 mi) at 60,000 feet (18 km).
First made. 1952. First used- 10 August 1952- crashed (XF-99), October 1954- successful (7th prototype), 1 September, 1959 3 trial missiles onl).
Retied on. 1st of October, 1972.
Engines. A liquid-fuel rocket engine boosted the Bomarc A to Mach 2, when its Marquardt RJ43-MA-3 ramjet engines, fueled by 80-octane gasoline, would take over for the remainder of the flight. This was the same model of engine used to power both the Lockheed X-7, AQM-60 Kingfisher drone. and the Lockheed D-21. the IM-99B Bomarc B. It used a Thiokol XM51 booster, and also had improved Marquardt RJ43-MA-7 (and finally the RJ43-MA-11) ramjets, which achieved the same performance with better efect.
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CIM-10 Bomarc missile battery

Bowmarc anti-aircraft nukes.

CQM-10B Bormarc drone launch Vandenberg 1977

A U.S. Air Force CQM-10B Bomarc B target drone being launched at Vandenberg Air Force Base Launch Complex BOM1, California (USA), on 1 May 1977. The missile seems to be a former Royal Canadian Air Force CIM-10B, USAF s/n 60-0909.

The Michigan Aerospace Research Center (MARC) was added to the joint project soon afterward, and this gave the new missile its name Bomarc (for Boeing and MARC).

Tactical IdeologyEdit

In 1951, the USAF decided to emphasize its point of view that missiles were nothing else than pilotless aircraft by assigning aircraft designators to its missile projects, and anti-aircraft missiles received F-for-Fighter designations. The Bomarc became the F-99.

Boeing built 570 Bomarc missiles between 1957 and 1964, 269 CIM-10A, 301 CIM-10B. This was due to the fear of the perseaived masses of Soviet Bombers and ICBMs which needed to be obliterated in a time of superpower war.

Missile testEdit

On 23 March 1961, a Bomarc B successfully intercepted a Regulus II cruise missile flying at 100,000 ft, thus achieving the highest interception in the world up to that date.


The eventEdit

The missiles were involved in the 1960 Bomarc Missile accident. The BOMARC Missile Accident Site ("BOMARC Site RW-01") is a 75-acre (30 ha) fenced-off radiological waste site of the United States Air Force Installation Restoration Program contaminated primarily with "weapons-grade plutonium (WGP), highly-enriched and depleted uranium." The Cold War nuclear accident occurred at Launcher Shelter 204, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (commonly known as the McGuire Unit at Fort Dix), Burlington County, New Jersey, United States, approximately 16.1 miles (25.9 km) south-southeast of Trenton. Launcher Shelter 204 stored the CIM-10 Bomarc missile (one of fifty-four at the base).

Preserved baseEdit

Due to the accident, the McGuire complex has never been sold or converted to other uses and remains in Air Force ownership, making it the most intact site of the eight in the US. It has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Sites. Although a number of IM-99/CIM-10 Bomarcs have been placed on public display, because of concerns about the possible environmental hazards of the thoriated magnesium structure of the airframe several have been removed from public view.

Drone variantEdit

In 1962, the US Air Force started using modified A-models as drones; following the October 1962 tri-service redesignation of aircraft and weapons systems they became CQM-10As. Otherwise the air defense missile squadrons maintained alert while making regular trips to Santa Rosa Island for training and firing practice. After the inactivation of the 4751st ADW(M) on 1 July 1962 and transfer of Hurlburt to Tactical Air Command for air commando operations the 4751st Air Defense Squadron (Missile) remained at Hurlburt and Santa Rosa Island for training purposes. They were also tested against the Lockheed AQM-60 Kingfisher drone.

Launch and bunkersEdit

The operational IM-99A missiles were based horisontally in semi-hardened shelters, nicknamed "coffins". After the launch order, the shelter's roof would slide open, and the missile raised to the vertical. After the missile was supplied with fuel for the booster rocket, it would be launched by the Aerojet General LR59-AJ-13 booster. After sufficient speed was reached, the Marquardt RJ43-MA-3 ramjets would ignite and propel the missile to its cruise speed and altitude of Mach 2.8 at 20,000 m (66,000 ft).

Guidance systemsEdit

The Bomarc relied on the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE), an automated control system used by NORAD for detecting, tracking and intercepting enemy bomber aircraft. SAGE allowed for remote launching of the Bomarc missiles, which were housed in a constant combat-ready basis in individual launch shelters in remote areas. At the height of the program, there were 14 Bomarc sites located in the United States and two in Canada.

Canadian Varint Edit

CIM-10 operators

Map with CIM-10 operators in blue.

The Bomarc Missile Program was highly controversial in Canada. The Progressive Conservative government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker initially agreed to deploy the missiles, and shortly thereafter controversially scrapped the Avro Arrow, a supersonic manned interceptor aircraft, arguing that the missile program made the Arrow unnecessary.

Initially, it was unclear whether the missiles would be equipped with nuclear warheads. By 1960 it became known that the missiles were to have a nuclear payload, and a debate ensued about whether Canada should accept nuclear weapons. Ultimately, the Diefenbaker government decided that the Bomarcs should not be equipped with nuclear warheads. The dispute split the Diefenbaker Cabinet, and led to the collapse of the government in 1963. The Official Opposition and Liberal Party leader Lester "Mike" Pearson originally was against nuclear missiles, but reversed his personal position and argued in favor of accepting nuclear warheads. He won the 1963 election, largely on the basis of this issue, and his new Liberal government proceeded to accept nuclear-armed Bomarcs, with the first being deployed on 31 December 1963. When the nuclear warheads were deployed, Pearson's wife, Maryon, resigned her honorary membership in the anti-nuclear weapons group, Voice of Women.

Also seeEdit

  1. 1960 Bomarc Missile accident
  2. Bloodhound anti-aircraft missile

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