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MSR Missile Support HAER Info > Spartan Launch Area Description

Spartan Launch Area Description

Adapted from Historic American Engineering Record, HAER No. ND-9-F,
Missile Launch Area (Facilities 501-530, 541-556)


Within Exclusion Area, Nekoma Vicinity, Cavalier County, North Dakota.


The Spartan Missile Launch Area contained the 30 Spartan Launch Stations (facilities 501-530), allowing for long range defense against every intercontinental ballistic missile.


The Spartan launch station (LS) was a reinforced, rectangular concrete structure inside a missile cell (silo), 9 by 9 by 72 ft, sloping downrange 5 degrees from the vertical. Each of the 30 Spartan LS's had a storage chamber for the missile, an exhaust duct for gas removal during firing, and a Launch Preparation and Equipment Vault above a Mechanical and Electrical Equipment Vault (both 11.5 by 9 ft underground and used for installation/maintenance). The LS cover would automatically open in tactical situations.

Each LS had a Launch Area Antenna (LAA), consisting of a reradiating horn mounted in an 18 inch diameter steel pipe; the pipe and its internal conduit had a weatherproofed cover.

The silos had a center-to-center separation distance of 73 ft and were laid out in parallel rows. The LS, itself, extended approximately 6 inches above ground level.


The Spartan launch stations of the Missile Launch Area were designed by the Ralph M. Parsons Co. and constructed by Morrison-Knudsen and Associates; they were basically completed by 3 January 1973. Approximate costs were $40,000 per Spartan silo. During deactivation of the site (late September 1976), the Spartan missiles and warheads, as well as the launch equipment were removed. The silo covers were then sealed.