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MSR / MSCB Introduction

(Excerpt from Historic American Engineering Record, HAER No. ND-9-B,
Missile Site Control Building, Building 430



The Missile Site Radar (MSR) site is located in Section 14 and 15, Township 159 North, Range 60 West of the Principal Meridian, Nekoma Vicinity, Cavalier County, North Dakota.

The site is approximately 100 highway miles northwest of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and adjacent to State Highway 1. The Missile Site Control Building (MSCB) is located northeast of the Tactical Road and southeast of Tactical Road South.

Date of Construction:

28 April 1970 through 3 January 1973.

Present Owner:

U.S. Department of the Army.

Present Use:

Caretaker Status.


It is believed that the plans for deployment and initiation of construction of this facility were instrumental in obtaining Soviet agreement to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and a subsequent decline in Cold War hostilities between the Superpowers.

This structure was nuclear hardened, that is, designed to withstand a nearby nuclear blast. Both the MSR with its data processing center and its power plant were nuclear hardened. The MSR was designed to be self-contained in case of attack. The MSR was a phased array radar; its beams were steered electronically instead of using heavy moving antennas. Rather than a large dish, this radar had thousands of small antennae built into each face.

The MSR had a detection range of several hundred miles. It provided more precise, close-in target data than the PAR. The MSR was to ready interceptors (Spartan and Sprint missiles) for launch and then was to guide them to intercept. The MSR had four faces allowing it to operate against attackers from any direction.

A research and development version of the MSR had been built at the Kwajalein Missile Range (in the Marshall Islands). However, that version was not built partially underground like the MSR at SRMSC.


James. E. Zielinski, Environmental Specialist, December 1994.