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BOMARC Otis AFB

    From 1962 to 1973 a BOMARC (Boeing Michigan Aeronautical Research Center) Missile Site was active on Greenway Road at Camp Edwards near the eastern boundry of the Massachusetts Military Reservation, adjacent to Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod. They were operated by 26th Air Defense Missile Squadron.  The site is currently used by the Unit Training Equipment Site (UTEP) which has been operated from 1979 to present for the maintenance and storage of armored and other wheeled vehicles. 
    At Otis Air Force Base 26 reinforced concrete shelters called "coffins" housed the missiles. They were 60 feet long, 24 feet wide and had heavy steel doors on the top which would slide apart and open prior to launch. A hydraulic system would then raise the missile to a vertical position for launch.
     The Model 'A' BOMARC Missile could carry either a nuclear warhead or a high-explosive (HE) warhead.  The 50 foot long BOMARC A would take off using a liquid-fuel engine in its tail.  Once airborne, twin ramjets would take over acceperating the vehicle to 2,275 miles per hour. It had a range of 200 miles and was designed to shoot down Russan bombers off the east coast.  Once in proximity of its target the missile would detonate a 1,000 pound explosive warhead to destroy incoming bombers.  Later nuclear warheads replaced the conventional munitions.
The successor to the "A", the Model 'B' BOMARC Missile, used solid propellant.  It, too, could carry either a nuclear warhead or an HE warhead.  (This is in contrast to the Nike Ajax versus the Nike Hercules missiles; the Ajax carried only an HE warhead, while the Hercules could be fitted with either.)  Another difference between BOMARC Model 'A' and Model 'B' was that the former employed tube electronics, while the latter employed solid-state electronics.  The 'B' had a greater range.  There were other improvements, too, such as in the type of data-link used for in-flight target updates. 

 


 

 

 



Camp Edwards BOMARC shelters, 1999.











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