This Nike Hercules Is A Fantastic Model Kit
The Western Electric NIM-14 Nike Hercules was a surface to air missile used a lot by the Dutch Air Force between 1959 and 1988 as well as the U.S and Nato. It’s initial designation was SAM-A-25. It’s prime purpose was as a medium and high altitude long range air defense.
This missile would usually be armed with a W31 nuclear warhead but sometimes would be fitted with a non nuclear option. The warhead options also meant it could be used as a surface to surface system. This was used in order to hit short ranged missiles mid-flight. This is a model kit that is a fantastic build.
From its early upgrades from the NIM-3-Nike-Ajax it actually evolved much further. It developed into a larger missile with two solid fuel stages that would eventually provide a range that was three times that of the Ajax. At the peak of its use it was deployed in hundreds of bases including 130 in the US.
The Hercules was regarded as being a transportable surface to air missile system but there was difficulty in moving it as it required some significant construction once arriving at its new position. Just like the real Hercules, positioning this model at the right angle will allow for the best viewing.
There were a number of modifications and improvements during the life of its service. Some examples of there were solid stat replacement for the vacuum tube based electronics and some other mobile options.
With none of these being used in other mobile systems such as the MIM-23-Hawk or the LIM-49-Nike Zeus, it would turn out that the Hercules was Bell’s Nike’s teams last operation missile system. Zeus was never actually used and other teams took over any replacements for the Hercules.
The Hercules was the U.S’s most used heavy SAM for some time until eventually being replaced by the MIM-104-Patriot during the 1980s. The Patriot’s were far more mobile for a start as well as having a far higher accuracy. The last of the Hercules missiles was deactivated in 1988 within Europe.
This kit might be light but the real thing was not, here are some statistics.
Type – Surface to air missile
- Western Electric
- Bell Laboratories
- Douglas Aircraft Company
Mass – 10710 pounds, 4860 kilograms
Length – 41 feet, 12 meters
Diameter – 31.5 inches – 800 milimeters
Warhead – W7, W31, M97, M22, T45 HE, HBX-6 M17
Engine – Hercules solid-fueled rocket cluster M42
Wingspan – 11 feet 6 inches, 3.51 meters
Operational Range – 90 miles
Flight Ceiling – 100 000 feet, 30 000 meters
Maximum Speed – Mach 3.65, 2,778 mph, 4,471 km/h
Guidance System – Command Guidance