FAS | Nuke | Guide | USA | Bomber |||| Join FAS

Boeing CIM-10A "BOMARC"

BOMARC was a surface-to-air ramjet missile designed for area defense. The BOMARC ("BO" from Boeing and "MARC" from Michigan Aeronautical Research Center) was originally designated as the XF-99, and later redesignated IM-99 then CIM-10A. Propelled at launch by a rocket booster until it reached sufficient speed for its ramjets to operate, it was guided from the ground to the vicinity of its target at which time it came under control of an internal target seeker. Testing of prototypes began in 1952 and the -A series was declared operational in 1960.

BOMARC flight test operations began at the end of June 1952, but equipment shortages conspired to delay the first launch until 10 September 1952. Other launches were also slow in coming. The second BOMARC was launched from Cape Canaveral on 23 January 1953, and the third BOMARC flight followed nearly five months later, on June 10th. Two more missiles were launched in the summer of 1953, but only three BOMARCs were launched from the Cape in 1954. Twenty-five more BOMARCs were launched from the Cape before ARDC announced plans in September 1958 to transfer the BOMARC program from Cape Canaveral to the Air Proving Ground Center's test site at Santa Rosa Island near Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Seventy BOMARCs were launched from the Cape between 10 September 1951 and 15 April 1960. On 1 December 1957, the Air Force combined the Air Proving Ground Command and the Air Force Armament Center to form the Air Proving Ground Center. The Center built the highly-instrumented Eglin Gulf Test Range and, for the next few years, served as a major missile test center for weapons such as the BOMARC.

The improved -B series became operational in 1961 and had a range of 440 miles and a maximum altitude of 100,000 feet. It had more powerful ramjet engines and its solid-propellant booster permitted the almost instantaneous launch of a missile on alert. In 1969, Bomarc -Bs were operational at six USAF sites in the U.S. and two RCAF sites in Canada. Bomarc -As were phased out in the mid-1960s, but beginning in 1962 some were modified and flown as supersonic, high altitude target drones (CQM-10a). Complete phaseout of the Bomarc's air defense mission was completed in October 1972.


Span 18 ft. 2 in.
Length 46 ft. 10 in.
Height 10 ft. 4 in.
Weight 15,619 lbs.
Armament Nuclear or conventional warheads
Engines Aerojet-General liquid rocket booster of 35,875 lbs. thrust;
two Marquardt ramjets of 1,408 lbs. thrust each
Cost $1,154,000
Speed 1,975 mph./1,716 knots
Range 260 statute miles/226 nautical miles
Service ceiling 65,000 ft.

BOMARC - August 1952



BOMARC LAUNCH - 21 August 1958

BOMARC Missile blasting off from site on Santa Rosa Island.

Sources and Resources

FAS | Nuke | Guide | USA | Bomber |||| Join FAS

Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Updated Tuesday, June 29, 1999 5:25:49 PM