Boeing Bomarc A SAM
Boeing Bomarc A SAM Zoom

This is the Boeing Bomarc A Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM). The Bomarc was developed starting in 1949 by Boeing and the Michigan Aerospace Research Center (BOMARC being a contraction of "BO" for Boeing" and "MARC" for Michigan Aerospace Research Center). Flight testing started in 1952 (with the first launch from Cape Canaveral in September of that year), and Boeing received a contract for production missiles in 1957. Production testing started in 1958, and the first Bomarc A was launched from Cape Canaveral in August. The Bomarc A became fully operational in 1959, and numerous deployments from Florida to Maine defended the U.S. eastern sea board.

The booster on the Bomarc A was the source of some problems. The fuel was too corrosive to store in the missile, so fueling took place immediately before launch (increasing time to launch). The fueling process was also quite hazardous, involving three steps (white fuming nitric acid, analine-furfuryl alcohol, and kerosene). In 1958, Boeing announced the development of a new model that would utilize a solid fuel booster.

There were two production models of the Bomarc: Bomarc A (also known as the CIM-10A) and Bomarc B (CIM-10B). The Bomarc B became operational in 1961, and featured a safer solid fuel booster and more powerful sustainers. Boeing built 700 Bomarc missiles between 1957 and 1964, and the Bomarc saw active service until 1972.

Bomarc A specifications and performance
Length 46 ft. 9 in. Wingspan 18 ft. 2 in.
Thrust Sustainer: 2 x 11,500 lbs.
Booster: 35,000 lbs.
Speed Mach 2.8
Ceiling 60,000 ft. Range 250 miles
Warhead Conventional or nuclear (W-40 fission, 7-10 KT yield)

Matador missile
Return to Complexes 1-4
Tour home CCAFS map Website map