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Location DB > United States > Arizona > Tucson > Titan II Missile Silo
Titan II Missile Silo
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 Database Info
created by Wilk on 5/24/2009 9:26 PM
last modified by ZAZ on 3/6/2020 12:56 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.

 Basic Information
Type: Underground Building
Status: Repurposed into a museum
Accessibility: Difficult
Recommendation: drop everything - must see
 Physical Information

Tucson, Arizona
United States
Owner: United States Bureau of Land Management
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • asbestos
  • rust
  • air quality
  •  Interesting Features
    It's a freakin underground missile base, how much more interesting does it get.
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • barbed wire
  • welded doors
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1960
    Closed: 1984
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • gloves
  • long pants / sleeves
  •  Recommended Equipment

    Physical Attributes and Layout

    Each Titan II missile weighed 270,000lbs at launch and stood 103ft tall. It had a maximum range of 10,000 miles at a maximum speed of 15,000 miles per hour. Each missile was equipped with a 9 megaton W-53 warhead which had the power to cause lethal burns within 15 miles of detonation and cause complete destruction within a 3 miles radius of detonation.

    Each Titan II silo was directly connected to an underground launch control center manned by a missile combat crew of two officers and two airman. On the surface, the Titan II launch facilities covered an area of approximately 600 feet by 600 feet. All of the launch facilities were underground. The silo was built of heavily reinforced concrete, and was 147 feet deep and 55 feet in diameter. It was wider than a Titan I silo because the Titan II was designed to be "hot launched" from within the silo. To deflect and channel the exhaust gases, each silo was fitted with a flame deflector at the base and two exhaust ducts that ran up the length of the silo and vented to the surface. Inside the silo there were nine levels of equipment rooms and missile access spaces. The silo was covered with a steel and concrete door that weighed 740 tons and could be opened in 17 to 20 seconds.

    The silo was connected to the missile control center by a 250-foot long access tunnel. Between the silo and the launch control center was the blast lock, a single level, heavily reinforced concrete structure containing three rooms. To enter the launch facility the missile crews descended through a 35-foot deep access portal that opened into the blast lock area. Each end of the blast lock was covered by a pair of large steel blast doors, each weighing 6,000 pounds, designed to protect the launch center from either a surface nuclear blast, or the explosion of the missile within the silo. The doors were designed to withstand an pressure in excess of 1000 psi.

    The launch control center was a dome-shaped reinforced concrete structure 37 feet in diameter and containing three levels. The three floors within the launch center were suspended from the ceiling to minimize blast shock. The control center provided space for all of the launch control and communications equipment, as well as a mess and sleeping quarters for the 4-person combat crew.


    The Army established operations at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in 1940, and during World War II, the base supported bomber training operations. In the post-war period, Davis-Monthan fell under the command of the newly formed Strategic Air Command (SAC).

    On April 20, 1960, it was announced that the base would support a Titan II missile wing. As with Titan II base construction at Little Rock and McConnell AFBs, the Corps of Engineers implemented a three phase construction concept in an attempt to alleviate problems that had plagued earlier Atlas and Titan I construction projects.

    Three companies (Jones, Teer, and Winkelman) combined to bid 27.7 million dollars and received the contract for the first phase of construction, which included the access road, pit and shaft excavations, and blast lock door installation. They broke ground on December 9, 196O. With first phase operations moving forward, second phase operations began on July 13, 1961, as Fluor Corporation and its subcontractors began installing the supporting electrical, fueling, and other auxiliary equipment. The sites were prepared for the final phase by mid-December 1962. The Martin Company handled phase III, missile installation.

    As with previous projects, hazards faced the workers who built the huge underground structures. During the first two phases, five workers died in construction accidents and many more were injured.

    January 1, 1962 marked the activation of the 390th Strategic Missile Wing (SMW) and Its two component squadrons, the 570th and the 571st Strategic Missile Squadrons. By December 12, 1963 all 18 silo's were online.


    In October 1981, President Reagan announced that as part of the strategic modernization program, Titan II systems were to be retired by October 1, 1987. Deactivation began at Davis-Monthan on October 1, 1982. During the operation, titled "Rivet Cap," the missiles were removed and shipped to Norton AFB, California for refurbishment and storage. Explosive demolition began on November 30, 1983. During the following May, the last Titan II at Davis-Monthan came off alert status. Two months later, SAC deactivated the 390th Strategic Missile Wing.

    After removal from service, 17 silos had reusable equipment removed by Air Force personnel, and contractors retrieved salvageable metals before destroying the silos with explosives and filling them in. Access to the vacated control centers was blocked off. Some of the properties were then sold; other sites are retained by the Bureau of Land Management.

     Media Coverage

     Future Plans
    Most are for sale by the U.S. Government. Some have already been converted to houses, churches, and other civilian owned structures.

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     Photo Galleries
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    Decsending into the Darkness
    Sun, May 24th, 2009
    posted by Wilk
    25 pictures

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     Web Links



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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

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    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 3/6/2020 4:37 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Mar 6 20 at 16:37, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Mar 6 20 at 0:56, ZAZ changed the following: Status
  • on Mar 12 17 at 16:24, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Mar 12 17 at 15:18, ChrisTVDir changed the following: Latitude, Longitude, Co-ordinate Accuracy
  • on Sep 9 10 at 16:34, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Sep 8 10 at 23:51, Wilk made this location public
  • on May 25 09 at 4:23, Steed validated this location
  • on May 24 09 at 23:27, Wilk made this location available
  • on May 24 09 at 23:27, Wilk changed the following: Future Plans
  • on May 24 09 at 23:26, Wilk changed the following: History, Interesting Features, Security Measures, Web Links
  •  Forum Threads about this Location
    New Thread
     SubjectStarted ByRepliesViewsLast Post
    You must log in for this feature to work.For Sale: Titan IIcorvidcache031712/12/2018 8:47 PM by corvidcache
    You must log in for this feature to work.BLM has made this location into a museum/interpretive site(surface only)Wilk05668/23/2017 12:47 AM by Wilk
    You must log in for this feature to work.This place looks amazing!JamesB411723/6/2015 11:06 PM by MrMalajin
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