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Titan Missile History
The Titan I
     The Titan I was the United States' first true multistage ICBM. The program began in January 1955 and took shape in parallel with the Atlas (SM-65/HGM-25) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The Air Force's goal in launching the Titan program was twofold: one, to serve as a backup should Atlas fail; and two, to develop a large, two-stage missile with a longer range and bigger payload that also could serve as a booster for space flights.
      Produced by the Glenn L. Martin Company, Titan I was a two-stage, liquid-fueled, rocket-powered missile. Like Atlas, it had a liquid cryogenic fuel system, which was a severe drawback.  The first stage delivered 300,000 pounds of thrust; the second stage 80,000 pounds.  The missile utilizes both radio and all-inertial guidance. Deployed in a "hard" silo, it had to be raised to surface by a special launcher for firing.  The Titan I had an effective range of 5,500 nautical miles.  As each stage was fired, its engines and fuel tanks dropped away, thereby decreasing the weight and mass of the vehicle. That made for a more efficient missile, which resulted in increased range and a larger payload.
   The ICBM Scientific Advisory Committee planted the seeds of the Titan program in July 1954 when it recommended that the Air Force's Western Development Division's (WDD) explore alternate missile configurations before entrusting the nation entire ICBM program to the untested Atlas (SM-65). The following month the WDD directed its systems engineering and technical direction (SE/TD) contractor, the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation, to institute a study of alternate ICBM configurations. Shortly thereafter the contractor hired Lockheed Aircraft Corporation and the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company to help with the task. The ICBM Scientific Advisory Committee was a group of prominent civilian scientists and engineers that advised the Air Force on the missile program.   When the study began, both the WDD and Ramo-Wooldridge were leery of becoming overly reliant on Atlas. Convair's design reflected an unconventional approach, and while many tests had been made, it had not been flight tested nor could it be for nearly 3 years.
     Based on the preliminary results of its study, in October the WDD recommended that Convair go ahead with Atlas, but at the same time the development agency also suggested that the Air Force broaden its ICBM program to include a missile with rigid, aircraft type fuselage and an alternate engine configuration. The VV`DD stressed that developing a second ICBM would allow the Air Force to pursue a more ambitious design and would also stimulate competition between the two ICBM programs.
     In January 1955 the ICBM Scientific Advisory Committee reviewed the WDD's findings and recommended that the Air Force pursue an alternate ICBM configuration, most probably one with a two-stage propulsion system. Based on the committee's recommendation, in April 1955 Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott authorized the VV`DD to begin work on a second ICBM. His only stipulation was that the winning contractor agree to build its missile production facility in the central United States.
     The Air Force solicited bids for the second ICBM in May 1955 and the following October awarded the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company of Baltimore, Maryland a con-tract to develop the new Titan I (SM-68A) ICBM. Martin built its Titan production facility outside of Denver, Colorado. The Air Force accepted delivery of its first production Titan in June 1958, and began testing shortly thereafter. In April 1959 the Army Corps of Engineers began supervising the construction of the first Titan I launch facilities at Lowry AFB, Colorado. Three years later that site hosted the first Titan I squadron to be placed on operational alert.
Titan II
The Titan II, was a large two-stage, liquid-fueled, rocket-powered ICBM that incorporated significant performance improvements over the earlier model Titan I weapon system. Titan II had more powerful engines.  The first stage delivered 430,000 pounds of thrust, and the second stage 100,000 pounds.  It carried a larger warhead an all-inertial guidance.  The most important improvement was the use of hyperbolic fuel used in connection with an on-board oxidizer.  This provided the missile with the capability of being fired from a hardened underground-silo launcher. It was also manufactured by the Martin Company,
     Even as the first Titan I missiles were rolling off the assembly line, the Air Force was searching for a way to modify the missile to use an oxidizer other than liquid oxy-gen. Searching for a way to improve the Titan I at a reasonable cost, in January 1959 the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division (AFBMD-the name was changed from WDD on June 1, 1957) found that with minor modifications Titan I could be modified to use a noncryogenic, storable propellant. That amounted to a major breakthrough, for it enabled the propellant to be stored within the missile itself, thereby permitting the Titan II to be fired in a single minute. Moreover, the new propellant made it possible to launch the missile from within the silo, simplified maintenance, and reduced the risk of accidents.
     In November 1959 the Department of Defense (DoD) authorized the development of the new Titan II (SM-68B/LGM-25C) and at the same time directed that the Titan I program be discontinued after six squadrons. As planned, Titan II would be a larger, more advanced missile than its predecessor. It would be equipped with an all-inertial guidance system, a-silo launch capability.
     In June 1960 the Air Force awarded the Martin Company the Titan II contract. Developed in parallel with the Titan I program, the Titan II took shape rapidly. Captive flight tests began in December 1961, and in February 1963 a Titan II fired from the Air Force Missile Test Center (AFMTC) in Florida logged a successful 6,500-mile flight.
     In October 1957, Congress authorized the Air Force to deploy four Titan I squadrons. Later that number increased to 12 squadrons, evenly split between Titan I and Titan II. With their 6,300-mile range, the Air Force based the Titan Is between Colorado and Washington state. The Titan Hs, on the other hand, had a 9,000-mile range and could be based farther south. By locating the Titan II bases in Arizona, Kansas, and Arkansas, the Air Force achieved a wider national dispersal pattern. Other factors that affected the location of the Titan launch facilities were population density under the missile's projected flight path, and the location of existing bases to provide logistical support.
End of the Titans 
        The second-generation Titan II could be launched from hardened and widely dispersed underground silos, and was thus better able to survive a nuclear first strike than their first-generation counterparts. Consequently, on 24 May 1963, General Curtis E. LeMay, Air Force Chief of Staff, approved the recommendations of the Air Force Ad Hoc Group for phaseout of the Titan I by the close of FY 1968. On 16 May 1964, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara accelerated the phase-out of the Titan I from the end of FY 1968 to the close of FY 1965.
     Project "Added Effort" was the Air Force nickname for the programmed phaseout of all first-generation ICBMs. The operational phaseout of the Titan I weapon system was completed on 1 April 1965 when the last Titan I was removed from alert at the 569th Strategic Missile Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. The retired Titans were moved to Miro Loma AFB, California, for storage.
     By 1981, the Titan II weapon system had served the nation for eighteen years, eight years longer than its predicted service life. The system's advanced age, combined with three accidents that destroyed two sites and killed four airmen, had cast doubts on its safety and effectiveness. SAC, anticipating a Department of Defense (DOD) initiative, began to consider replacement options in October 1980. One month later, the Senate Armed Services Committee asked the Defense Department to prepare a formal Titan II safety report. SAC's replacement options review became the basis for the DOD safety report released in February 1981. The DOD study acknowledged Titan II's significant, albeit declining usefulness in preserving nuclear deterrence, and recommended deactivation of the Titan system as part of the ICBM modernization plan. During the interim, SAC would continue to improve Titan hardware and safety procedures.
     On 2 October 1981, Deputy Secretary of Defense Frank C. Carlucci directed the retirement of the Titan II at the earliest possible time. The deactivation program, designated Rivet Cap, formally began with the removal from alert of site 571-6 at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, on 30 September 1982. Titan II deactivation was completed on 23 June 1987 when technicians removed the last Titan II missile from its silo at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas. The era of liquid propellant ICBMs came to a close on 18 August 1987 with the inactivation of the last Titan II wing, the 308th Strategic Missile Wing at Little Rock AFB.