Martin AN/FSG-1 Antiaircraft Defense System

Martin AN/FSG-1 Antiaircraft Defense System
Martin AN/FSG-1 Antiaircraft Defense System
Missile Master
military command and control system
The AN/FSG-I could communicate with local tactical facilities (e.g., radars) and, via digital data communications, "up to 24 Nike Hercules AD missile batteries".[1]
Country United States

(yr replaced,
MD: Fort Meade radar station

*MA: Ft Heath radar station (1964, tbd)
*NJ: Highlands AFS (tbd, 2008)
WA: Ft Lawton AFS
NJ: Gibbsboro AFS
*PA: Oakdale AFS (1967, tbd)
*IL: Arlington Heights AFS[2]
NY: Lockport AFS
*MI: Selfridge radar station (tbd, 2005)
*replaced with Missile Mentor
*CA: San Pedro AFS

For the inspection staff that simulated attacks to assess AN/FSG-I crews (e.g., via short notice annual practices, SNAP), see Missile Master evaluation team.

The Martin AN/FSG-I Antiaircraft Defense System was a Nike missile fire distribution center[1] built for Fort Monmouth's U. S. Army Signal Engineering Laboratories by the Martin Company of Orlando, Florida.[3] The electronic radar netting equipment was deployed in the United States for air defense command posts[4] at 7 Air Force Stations and 3 radar stations on posts/bases; with the 1st installation of an operational prototype[5]:310 at the Fort Meade radar station in Maryland on December 5, 1957.[6] The 1st production system was dedicated at Fort Lawton Air Force Station, Washington, on January 21, 1960; and the last installation was at San Pedro Hill Air Force Station, California, on December 14, 1960.[5]:313-4

The "semiautomatic"[4]:17 system plotted target tracks to reduce delay (e.g., manual operator assessment of performance charts was unnecessary) for the crew to operationally analyze which Nike battery should fire on a target aircraft or formation--as well as eliminate the need to use voice communication to command the attack.[2] The AN/FSG-I had over 12 blue consoles in the tiered, auditorium-like Antiaircraft Operations Center (AAOC) recessed in a pit with blue overhead illumination ("blue room"). Several operators used the consoles to review and mark orange interactive CRTs displaying radar network data. When the commander designated a missile battery for an attack on a target, the AN/FSG-I transmitted the commander's attack order via an automated data link (ADL) for digital data[4] to the "fire unit" at the Nike battery, where the local commander issued the firing order via the fire control system.[1]

The AN/FSG-I included "a tracking subsystem, a tactical display subsystem, ADL transmitters and receivers, and computing and storage equipment" in the bunker. Additional local systems in neighboring tactical structures generally included "an AN/FPS-33 defense acquisition radar (DAR) or similar radar, two height-finder radars," and IFF equipment which all input data to the tracking subsystem along with the remote sites' ADL (channel) data. The tracking subsystem consisted of "two surveillance and entry (S&E) consoles, a channel status unit, six tracking consoles, and two range-height indicator (RHI) consoles." The tactical display subsystem included "three tactical monitor consoles—friendly protector console, operations officer's console, and Army air defense commander's console."[4]

The AN/FSG-I was installed in the main building (fallout-proof & blast-resistant nuclear bunker) with the consoles for crewmembers in the AAOC; separate rooms for the remaining AN/FSG-I computer, storage, communication, and other system equipment; a commander's office, rooms for HVAC and other support systems (e.g., boiler room), etc.[7] Additional tactical facilities (structures) were constructed when the AN/FSG-I was deployed such as at Highlands Air Force Station, New Jersey; which cost ~$2 million for the structures (170 × 90 ft (52 × 27 m) bunker, power building, and 4 radar towers) and ~$2 million for the equipment[8] (dedicated June 6, 1960, to replace the Fort Wadsworth command post).[3] The subcontractors were the Airborne Instruments Laboratory and the American Machine and Foundry Company.[4] Deployment also required a Fire Unit Integration Facility be installed at each Nike fire unit to provide the ADL interface with the fire control system.


With the development of longer range missiles requiring fewer launch sites and less complex control centers, phase-out of the vacuum tube AN/FSG-I was approved by the Department of Defense in December 1963.[5] Of the 10 systems, 7 had been replaced by solid state Missile Mentor AN/TSQ-51 Air Defense Command and Coordination Systems on February 8, 1967, when the last AN/TSQ-51 installation was completed at Oakdale Air Force Station, Pennsylvania.[5]:317,320 Documents regarding the former AN/FSG-I bunker at the Selfridge AFB radar station have been entered in the Historical American Engineering Record.[7]

External images
console images
general description booklet
Selfridge site in 1961
empty Highlands bunker in 2008
tbd AN/FSG-I site with Nike
bunker floor plan
Arlington Hgts bunker


  1. ^ a b c (field manual) FM 44-1: U. S. Army Air Defense Employment. Headquarters, Department of the Army. 11 October 1965. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  2. ^ NOTE: The Arlington Heights AI[specify] Army command post was co-located with the Air Force squadron at Arlington Heights Air Force Station.[1]:60
  3. ^ Berhow, Mark (2005). US Strategic and Defensive Missile Systems 1950-2004. Osprey Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 1 84176 838 3. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  4. ^ a b c d Chapter 3: Army Air Defense Control Systems. . U. S. Army Air Defense Digest (Hillman Hall, Fort Bliss, Texas: U. S. Army Air Defense School). January 1965. Retrieved 2011-09-06. "The term "radar netting" (fig 43) describes the process by which track data derived from several additional or remote radars are gathered at a single center to produce an integrated set of meaningful target information"  (Ch. 2, p. 17)
  5. ^ a b c d Leonard, Barry. History of Strategic and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume II: 1956-1972. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  6. ^ "Missile Master News Release-1 [transcript]". United States Army. December 5, 1957. Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
  7. ^ a b tbd (Report). Library of Congress: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record. Retrieved 2011-09-07. 
  8. ^ "Missile Master Defense System to Cost Millions: Army Opens Bids". Red Bank Register (Red Bank, New Jersey): pp. 1-2. June 12, 1958. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 

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