CIM-10 Bomarc

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The CIM-10 Bomarc was the only surface-to-air missile ever deployed by the United States Air Force. All other U.S. land-based SAMs were and are under the control of the United States Army.

The supersonic Bomarc missiles were the first long-range anti-aircraft missiles in the world. They were capable of carrying conventional or nuclear warheads. Their intended role in defense was in an intrusion prevention perimeter. Bomarcs aligned on the eastern and western coasts of North America would theoretically launch and destroy enemy bombers before the bombers could drop their payloads on industrial regions.

It involved the deployment of tactical stations armed with Bomarc missiles along the east and west coasts of North America and the central areas of the continent. BOMARC and the SAGE guidance system were phased out in the early 1970s since they seemed to be ineffective and costly. Neither of these systems was ever used in combat, so while their combat effectiveness remains untested, they are still perceived as having been an important deterrent.

In addition to the USAF, the Bomarc was also deployed by Canada after the country had canceled its advanced Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow manned interceptor in 1959.



Origins and development

In 1946, Boeing started to study surface-to-air guided missiles under the United States Army Air Forces project MX-606. By 1950, Boeing had launched more than 100 test rockets in various configurations, all under the designator XSAM-A-1 GAPA (Ground-to-Air Pilotless Aircraft). Because these tests were very promising, Boeing received a USAF contract in 1949 to develop a pilotless interceptor (a term then used by the USAF for air-defense guided missiles) under project MX-1599. The MX-1599 missile was to be a ramjet-powered, nuclear-armed long-range surface-to-air missile to defend the Continental United States from high-flying bombers. The Michigan Aerospace Research Center (MARC) was added to the project soon afterward, and this gave the new missile its name Bomarc (for Boeing and MARC). 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.[1]

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