New York Metro Area
Nike Missile Sites

For two decades, during some of the most tense years of the Cold War, the New York metropolitan area was defended by a series of U.S. Army "Nike" surface to air missile batteries. During the middle and late 1950s, a total of 19 Nike missile batteries were constructed in New York City, on Long Island, in Westchester and Rockland Counties, and within the northern half of New Jersey.

Additional related facilities including remote radar sites, air defense command posts, housing areas, headquarters facilities and maintenance shops were also created during this period.

Nike missile sites were established during the 1950s as part of a nationwide air defense program designed to to defend major population centers, industrial facilities and other important sites against long range Soviet bombers armed with nuclear bombs. Nike missiles provided a last line of defense against air attack. In this role they were part of a complex air defense network which included radar installations, interceptor aircraft, radar picket ships and picket aircraft, civilian ground observers, antiaircraft artillery (gun) batteries and partially automated command and control systems.

This Web site provides information about each of the historic Cold War era Nike air defense sites located within the former New York Defense Area. Portions of the site may be unavailable at this time due to a major reorganization of this material. Additional information will be placed online in the future.

To contact the author, please send email to at cwresearch2 (at)

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