Largest nuclear weapon ever deployed on display in Arizona
(ARIZONA HIGHWAYS TV) – They say the cold war is over, but Arizona is still holding on to at least one missile from America’s nuclear arsenal. It’s scary, and yet at the same time impressive. And you can see it inside the Titan Missile Museum in Sahuarita.
I was an electronics technician in 1970 -72 at the Wichita Titan II base. Among other systems, I maintained the launch enable system which was the electronic system that controlled what happened when the two officers turned the keys 6:13. The 1950’s technology didn’t even have integrated circuits. There were dozens of small circuit boards with resistors, capacitors, and diodes soldered into the boards that made up the logic system.
Amazing that the system worked at all. The tour guide says 2:11 that the punch tapes preceded punch cards, but that is not true. IBM punch cards were used for sorting and data storage even before there were computers. The crews were all underground and there were no surveillance cameras at the site. In the background 5:54 you see some gray scooped, horn-shaped objects called the TPS-39. These are called waveguides and they come in pairs.
Out of sight is the second one aimed at the ones you see. One sent a steady stream of RF energy (radar signals) to the other. It was expected to detect intruders on the site. If anything disturbed the flow of energy, it set off an alarm and MPs were dispatched to the site to investigate. If no intruders were found they called repairmen like me at all hours of the day to go out and reset the equipment