NIKE Firing Area Sigerslev
A little NIKE history
Nike Ajax (Commonly referred to as just Nike).
The 1953 SAM-A-25 Nike B program was formally recognized. Western Electric became the primary supplier, and Douglas became responsible for the missile body.
1955 First test flight with liquid fuel. Very problematic.
1956 Nike B renamed Nike Hercules
1956 The first successful shooting at a drone.
1957 First flight with solid fuel.
1958 The first specimens of the Nike Hercules missile were delivered to the US Army ..
The first Danish SAM (surface to air missile) unit was formed in Fort Bliss, El Paso USA in 1959. After graduation, the crew returned to Denmark. The unit consisted of a staff and 4 batteries. Originally, the batteries were part of the Army (10th Air Force Division), but in 1962 the units were transferred to the Air Force as Squadron 531 – 532 – 533 – 534.
Their main task was to protect Copenhagen from air strikes. The equipment was set up in 1960, the NIKE HERCULES and the somewhat older NIKE AJAX. That same year, they were declared operational in line with the Air Force fighter jets squadrons.
The headquarters of the missile defense was in the Avedøre Barracks from the time before the First World War.
The batteries were installed in Gunderöd in North Zealand, Kongelunden at Amager, Tune at Roskilde and on the Stevns peninsula.
The overall command was in the Ejbybrobunker on the west bank. Here all the air force’s radar stations and the air force’s command center in Karup were coordinated.
The distance between the IFC and the LCA should be between one and five kilometers. However, should it be at least 1 US mile (1.6 km.) Less than 1 mile, the MTR would not be able to follow the missile due to the firing rate.
IFC and LCA were connected to cable.
It consisted of:
Missile Assemply & Warhead Missile Storage Facilities
1 Launcher Control Station (LCS)
9 Launchers (3 sections with 3 in each section)
3 hangars (One hangar in each section for extra rockets)
3 control rooms (1 in each section)
Later, a High Power Acquisition Radar (1964) and a Target Ranging Radar (1970) were added.
This made it possible to intercept enemy ballistic missiles.
In each launcher area, there was a mounting hangar where the missiles were and armed and stored. The distance between the launcher sections was large enough to allow continuing work in one section while the other section fired.
The assembly area
Repair and assembly of missiles other than engine and warhead. All LCA stock was fitted here. It was also a hangout for LCA technicians. Trolleys and heavy cranes for the missiles that weighed approx. 5 tons, was located on the northern platform. The “crude” missiles were driven into the northern gate. After assembly, they were driven out of the south gate to for mounting the engine and warhead in the revetted area.
The revetted area
Here, engines and explosive charges were mounted in the rockets. Outside, but behind the rampart, the NIKE Ajax rockets were loaded with a highly flammable liquid fuel mixture. It was jetfuel JP4 and an oxidizer of fuming red nitric acid. The initial mix UDMH was only added when the rocket was mounted on the rail system in the firing area.
Fuel and oxidizer for the Ajax rockets were stored in separate open sheds 50 meters in between revetted area.
The generator building
The machine and generator building contained a generator for tactical power. The LCA was supplied with ordinary city power (230 V) while the systems operated on US values. Thus, the current had to be converted to 120 V – 400 Hz. The generator was powered by a diesel engine.
The launcher area
From the Assembly and Revetted Area, a road lead 500 meters to the Launcher Area itself.
The Launcher Area consisted of 3 launcher sections, Alpha, Bravo and Charlie. (A, B and C from the international phonetic alphabet).
Each section, separated from the rest of the ramparts, consisted of a missile storage building, a firing squad bunker, the 3 missile launch platform itself, and a small building with an emergency generator.
In the rampart of each section was a control bunker for fire personnel.
Firing personnel consisted of:
1 Missile commander.
1 Panel Operator
3 Missile crew (1 for each launcher)
1 Generator operator
There was, at the very least, a room with bunks where it was possible to sleep.
At high readiness in the 60s, the first missile could be fired in 5 minutes.
Launcher area C
Steel plates were laid on the firing platform to protect cable guides and substrates from the blast during firing. They are only in section C today. Section C was the only section that had NIKE missiles. However, they were replaced with Hercules missiles in 1971.
All 3 sections then had Hercules.
There were small posts for close range defense in the perimeter of the area
In each launcher section (A-C) there was a small emergency generator building.
There are still some power boards in these buildings.
There were two emergency connections between LCA (Launcher Control Area) and FCA (Firing Control Area) at Flagbanken 3-4 km. to the east.
It was a field wire connection and a radio connection, respectively. The radio rack and antenna were mounted on the generator building of the A section.
It was NERA radios of Norwegian make with two duplex connections that was emergency connection number two.
The double fences and the perimeter security with several watchtowers are interesting.
These are not common Danish standard.
The explanation for this high level of security is that it may be necessary to change the armor of the rockets from conventional to atomic charges. Should this happen, it would take place in the LCA.
After heavy Soviet pressure in the mid-fifties (Bulganin), Denmark had refused to have nuclear weapons on Danish soil.
But just south of the border in the Meden at Flensburg, 10 km. south of the border, lay under the name SAS Meyn (Sonderwaffenlager) nuclear weapons intended for the Danish defense.
The artillery already had atomic charge shooting charts and firing was trained.
The depot was designated Landjut, i.e. the forces in the Jutland peninsula. The plant is closed today.
In a memo from the Secretary of Defense to the Government (Minister of Defense) in April 1959, it was stated that the limited number of missiles was not effective unless equipped with nuclear warheads. These were both the SAM (surface to air = ground-to-air missiles) as the NIKE missiles and the SSM (surface to surface missiles = ground-to-earth) Honest John that the army had held since 1960.
A rather interesting memo in the light of official politics.
In 1969 the phase-out of NIKE AJAX began and in 1981 and 1983 the four NIKE HERCULES squadrons were phased out.
For a few years, some HAWK batteries were stationed after the NIKE squadrons left Sigerslev.
Sigerslev NIKE Squadron shield for ESK. 541 on rocket hangar in section A, mounted after 1983, when the hangar became garage area for ESK 541 which was the HAWK squadron on Stevnsfortet until 2000.
After NIKE was closed down in 1983, four HAWK squadrons were hired to meet the defense settlement requirement of eight squadrons. These 4 squadrons were set up at Funen and flight stations in Jutland.
Hawk was active until 2005. From 2002 to 2005 as a Danish updated system under the name DEHAWK ..
Today, LCA Sigerslev is private property. Some of the buildings had been used for other purposes and have not been maintained, while others stand almost as when they were abandoned.
Fire Control Area FCA
The radar control (FCA) was located at Flagbanken on Mandehoved. Note that the Flag Bank did not have HIPAR. It only existed in Tune.
TTR (Target Tracking Radar) site and the two operator buildings at Flagbanken.
Today, FCA is a public recreation area. Especially the TTR stand is much sought after by ornithologists as a viewing tower. The barracks old cafeteria has become a nature center.
Other missile defense systems:
The crew from Sigerslev was accommodated at Sigerslev Air Force Station at the Mandehoved.
The rocket battalion’s staff was in the Avedøre camp, and the rocket operations center in the Ejbybrobunker on the Western Enceinte in Rødovre, just outside Copenhagen.
In addition, they were the regional low alert centers LAVAC). The one shown is below the Carlsberg Breweries.