Convair SM-65 Atlas
The Convair Division of General Dynamics produced three different models of the Atlas ICBM destined for deployment with the Strategic Air Command. The first operational version of the Atlas, the “D” model, was a one and one-half stage, liquid-fueled, rocket-powered (360,000 pounds of thrust) ICBM equipped with radio-inertial guidance and a nuclear warhead. It was stored horizontally on a “soft” above-ground launcher, unprotected from the effects of nuclear blast, and had an effective range of approximately 6,500 nautical miles. The second Atlas ICBM configuration possessed all-inertial guidance, improved engines, a larger warhead, and was stored in a horizontal position in a “semi-hard” coffin-type launcher. The Atlas F missiles also were deployed in “hard” silo-lift launchers which stored the missiles vertically in underground, blast-protected silos.