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Quiz about US Air Force Missiles
Quiz about US Air Force Missiles

US Air Force Missiles Trivia Quiz


The US Air Force has used a wide variety of missiles as part of its mission. This quiz tests your knowledge of 10 of them.

A multiple-choice quiz by cag1970. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
cag1970
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
298,003
Updated
Jul 23 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
841
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
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Question 1 of 10
1. The Douglas PGM-17 became the first operational ballistic missile in the US Air Force inventory in 1959. By what nickname was this missile known? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. The versatile AGM-65 was a key weapon for the US Air Force during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. By what nickname is the AGM-65 known? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The AGM-88 HARM also played a vital role for the Air Force during Operation Desert Storm. What is HARM's primary mission? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. The nuclear-tipped AIR-2 missile was used for nearly 30 years for continental air defense, primarily against waves of incoming bombers. What nickname was given to the AIR-2? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. The LGM-118, better known as Peacekeeper, served for nearly a decade as part of the US Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missile forces. What was the maximum number of nuclear warheads the Peacekeeper could carry? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. The Martin MGM-1 held the distinction of being the first operational surface-to-surface cruise missile ever developed by the US Air Force. By what nickname was the MGM-1 known? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The very successful AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile was first deployed to US Air Force aircraft during the Vietnam War era. It was originally designed by the US Navy, though, as a counterpart to what groundbreaking Air Force missile? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Which of the following companies was the prime contractor of SM-65, the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. LGM-25C, the Titan II intercontinental ballistic missile, carried a W53 nuclear warhead--the most powerful warhead ever deployed on an American missile. What was the explosive yield of the W53 warhead? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The Boeing LGM-30 has been the backbone of the US Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missile force for over 40 years. What nickname was given to this missile? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The Douglas PGM-17 became the first operational ballistic missile in the US Air Force inventory in 1959. By what nickname was this missile known?

Answer: Thor

Thor was considered to be an intermediate range ballistic missile, or IRBM, capable of hitting targets up to 2,897 km (1,800 miles) away. Thor missiles were deployed in the United Kingdom from 1959 to 1963. Thors also carried test nosecones for the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, aloft, and launched the Corona series of spy satellites into orbit. Thor was the basis of the successful Delta family of satellite boosters.
2. The versatile AGM-65 was a key weapon for the US Air Force during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. By what nickname is the AGM-65 known?

Answer: Maverick

Maverick missiles can be used against soft targets like fuel storage facilities and transportation depots, as well as hard targets like armor. Warheads that detonate on contact with the target or that delay detonation until a target is penetrated can be fitted to the missile, depending upon the circumstances.

The US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps have all used variants of the Maverick in their operations.
3. The AGM-88 HARM also played a vital role for the Air Force during Operation Desert Storm. What is HARM's primary mission?

Answer: Anti-radar

HARM is an acronym meaning High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile. Originally developed for the US Navy, the US Air Force adopted HARMs for the Wild Weasel role of suppressing enemy air defenses. HARMs home in on the eletronic signals generated by radar antennas and transmitters.

More advance versions of the missile includes features that can still lead it to radar antenna that have shut down to avoid detection.
4. The nuclear-tipped AIR-2 missile was used for nearly 30 years for continental air defense, primarily against waves of incoming bombers. What nickname was given to the AIR-2?

Answer: Genie

Carrying a W25 nuclear warhead that boasted a yield of 1.5 kilotons--the equivalent of 1,500 tons of TNT--the Genie was designed specifically to knock out large formations of enemy bombers en route to drop their payloads on the United States and Canada.

The Genie was only live-fired once, as part of the massive Plumbbob series of nuclear tests, in July, 1957. Both the US Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force (later the Canadian Forces Air Command) used this missile on their continental air defense interceptors like the F-101 Voodoo and the F-106 Delta Dart.

The missile remained in service until the mid-1980s.
5. The LGM-118, better known as Peacekeeper, served for nearly a decade as part of the US Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missile forces. What was the maximum number of nuclear warheads the Peacekeeper could carry?

Answer: 10

Originally known as the MX missile, Peacekeeper was intended to be a mobile ICBM, designed to survive a Soviet first strike and return an effective counterpunch from a variety of locations. Ultimately deployed in traditional silos, Peacekeeper could propel up to 10 W87 nuclear warheads to targets up to 9,700 km (6,027 miles) away. Each W87 warhead had an explosive yield of 300 kilotons. Peacekeeper was in service from 1986 to 2005.
6. The Martin MGM-1 held the distinction of being the first operational surface-to-surface cruise missile ever developed by the US Air Force. By what nickname was the MGM-1 known?

Answer: Matador

A road-mobile, winged missile that was based in West Germany, Taiwan and South Korea during its lifetime, Matador could deliver a 20-kiloton W5 nuclear warhead or a 2,000-pound conventional warhead to a target up to 700 miles away. Matadors were in service from the mid-1950s until the early-1960s, and spawned another winged tactical missile, the MGM-13 Mace, that was in service until the early 1970s.
7. The very successful AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile was first deployed to US Air Force aircraft during the Vietnam War era. It was originally designed by the US Navy, though, as a counterpart to what groundbreaking Air Force missile?

Answer: AIM-4 Falcon

Hughes Aircraft began work on the AIM-4 Falcon in 1946, with the original intention of it being used on strategic bombers for short-range defense against enemy aircraft. By 1950, the Air Force decided to start using it to defend against incoming bombers instead, and it entered service in 1956 on board continental air-defense aircraft.

The Falcon was deployed in combat on board the F-4D Phantom II, used by the air force in Vietnam, but performance was so poor that the air force switched to the Sidewinder.
8. Which of the following companies was the prime contractor of SM-65, the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile?

Answer: General Dynamics

The Convair division of General Dynamics built the SM-65, which was America's first operational ICBM. The most advanced version, the Atlas-F, could carry a 4-megaton W38 nuclear warhead a distance of 18,500 km (11,495 miles). Although extensively deployed at sites throughout the United States, Atlas was never used as a weapon of war. Like its cousins Thor and Titan, it evolved into a reliable satellite booster. Variants of Atlas were also used during Project Mercury, to put the first Americans in orbit around the Earth, and during Project Gemini, to loft Agena docking targets into orbit.
9. LGM-25C, the Titan II intercontinental ballistic missile, carried a W53 nuclear warhead--the most powerful warhead ever deployed on an American missile. What was the explosive yield of the W53 warhead?

Answer: 9 megatons

Unlike its older brother, HGM-25A Titan I, which used super-cold cryogenic fuels, Titan II used hypergolic fuels--liquid fuels that ignited on contact with one another. This allowed Titan II to be ready for launch much more quickly. Titan II is better known as being the booster used during America's second manned space program, Project Gemini.
10. The Boeing LGM-30 has been the backbone of the US Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missile force for over 40 years. What nickname was given to this missile?

Answer: Minuteman

Unlike the Atlas and Titan family of ICBMs, Minuteman was a solid-fueled missile. The solid propellants allow for near-immediate flight readiness and provide a much safer working environment than was afforded by Atlas and Titan. Minuteman also featured the first successful reprogrammable inertial guidance system ever deployed on a U.S. strategic missile.

This enabled Minuteman to be more accurate than its liquid-fueled cousins as well.
Source: Author cag1970

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