The Titan I Missile

Working with the National Park Service and the Organization of American Historians, we wrote a history of the Titan I missile system as part of a project to record a complex near Denver, Colorado.

Beginning  in 1962, the United States deployed its first Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM)—the Atlas and the Titan I. These powerful weapons dramatically altered the Cold War by introducing the capability to destroy enemy targets anywhere around the world within a hour of launch. The Titan I complexes were the first hardened missile sites, capable of surviving all but a direct hit from a nuclear attack. The two-stage missiles—another key innovation of the Titan I—were stored in underground silos and raised to ground level for launch. The Titan I missile system was deployed in six squadrons, each consisting of three dispersed launch complexes, at five Air Force bases across the western United States. Each complex consisted of three missile silos controlled by a single launch center and supported by a network of underground fuel storage tanks, equipment terminal, antennas, and connecting tunnels. These facilities played a crucial role in the Cold War until removed from active service in 1965, replaced by the more advanced Titan II and Minuteman I missiles.

Edinborough Press (c) 2006