Nike Ajax Missile as used by the "Koninklijke Luchtmacht" (RNLAF) at the Military Aviation Museum, Kamp Zeist (the Netherlands)
The United States Army's Nike Ajax (MIM-3 or Mobile Interceptor Missile, design 3) was the world's first operational Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM), entering service in 1954. Nike Ajax was designed to attack conventional bomber aircraft flying at high subsonic speeds and altitudes above
50.000 feet (15 km). The Nike Ajax was a two-stage, supersonic missile with a range of about 30 miles (48 km). The Nike Ajax was initially deployed in the United States to provide defence against Soviet bomber attacks, and was later deployed overseas to protect United States bases,
as well as being sold to various allied forces. Some examples remained in use until the 1970s.
The last operational Ajax site in the United States ceased operations in May 1964. However, beginning in 1967, Nike Ajax installations were deployed in countries that shared common defense interests with the United States, such as Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Taiwan, and Turkey.