Superior Firepower Other Ballistic And Cruise Missiles
The 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty led to the destruction of all ground launched missiles with a range of 300-3400 miles (500-5500 km), for both the US and USSR.
Short Range (under 1000 km (DOD definition))
TM-61/MGM-1 MatadorOriginally designated B-61, the US decided not to call missiles aircraft any more. First operational US cruise missile, the first batch were radio controlled (which limited range and was prone to jamming). Later ones used ground-based microwave emitters. All withdrawn in 1962.
PGM-11 RedstoneA short range (201 miles/303 km maximum) missile, direct descendant of the V2. Could carry a conventional warhead or 3.75 Mt nuclear one. Used for the first US live nuclear missile tests (with atomic detonation) and then used as a suborbital launch vehicle- it put the first US astronaut into space for all of five minutes. Considering that Vostok 1 had just done a full-earth orbit, this was a positively poor response.
MGM-31 Pershing IAn Army missile rather than an Air Force one, this was a road-mobile missile with a range of 460 miles (740 km). Most of these were deployed to West Germany, where they were kept ready to launch within minutes of an order. Deployed from 1960-1970, when the missiles were upgraded to...
MGM-31A Pershing IAAn electronics upgrade, mostly, allowing for faster launch and easier maintenance.
Medium Range (1000-3000 km)
PGM-17 Thor'''The first operational MRBM (many sources designate this an IRBM, but its range was only 2,400 km) in US service, 60 these missiles were deployed to the UK under Project Emily, where they were placed under dual USAF-RAF control. As part of the deal that ended the Cuban Missile Crisis, they were withdrawn from the UK, but continued in an anti-satellite scheme based in the Pacific until the early 1970s. Thor is remembered mostly though for being the ancestor of a large family of space launchers, the Delta series.
Pershing IIA response to the RT-21M/SS-20, the missile had a CEP of 30m (which is good by missile standards) a range of over 1,000 miles and a variable yield of 5 to 80 kilotons. Scared the Soviets more than the US realised at the time, making them concerned about a decapitation strike. A theatre-level nuke, it got its curtain call with INF.
- Appears in a film called Weird Science. Which looks, judging by The Other Wiki, Weird and inspired a TV series.