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Titan II ICBM- A Significant Deterrent

Written by on Thursday, June 6th, 2013

No single weapon had a more significant impact on the Cold War than the Titan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). As a nuclear deterrent, the Titan II ICBM was on call ready to act as a cold reminder of mutual destruction during heated standoffs with the Soviet Union.

The Titan II ICBM was a missile that had an operational range of over 6,000 miles that could deliver a nine megaton hydrogen bomb in just 30 minutes. The Titan II ICBM was a significant improvement over prior missiles in that its ignition source was considered safer than the Titan I because it was imbedded in the missile and controlled by a small valve that would mix accelerant and begin the first of two stages of rocket propellant. Also, its navigation system was upgraded with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) over the Titan I’s radar command guidance system, but the biggest difference between the Titan I and Titan II was the time that it took to launch a Titan I, which took 15 minutes while the Titan II required diazepam online pharmacy just 58 seconds.

After the Kennedy assassination in 1963, all 54 Titan II ICBM sites located near Little Rock, Arkansas, Wichita, Kansas, and Tucson, Arizona were put at an alert status of DEFCON 1 in preparation for a potential attack on American soil from the Soviets. The 54 missile silos were spread out across the three areas to create targeting difficulties for the Soviets if they decided to attack the silos. Each missile silo was designed to withstand a nuclear detonation and be able to return fire if required. The silos had four to eight feet reinforced steel and concrete structures to prevent damage to the Titan II ICBM and its four man crew. The silo was equipped with food, water and most importantly, air to survive 10-15 days in isolation. 

Today, the silos have all been dismantled except for one that is located 15 miles south of Tucson and is now a museum that serves as an educational source of past operations and a constant reminder of the Cold War and hostilities that never were.

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