Thor IRBM Site Configuration

Together the Air Force and the RAF deployed four squadrons of Thor missiles in Great Britain. A squadron consisted of 15 missiles. Each squadron maintained five launch positions, each containing three launchers. Each launcher was separated from the adjacent facility by 200 to 300 yards. To expedite deployment, all of the Thor launch facilities were built above ground, offering protection only from the elements.

The missile at each launch position was stored horizontally, and covered by a barn- like metal shed. Mounted on rails, the 100-foot-long shed was electronically retracted before elevating the missile to an upright position. The missile shelter and launch platform were mounted on a heavily reinforced concrete strip, approximately 250 feet long and 50 feet wide.

Abutting that central strip were two large concrete aprons that contained propellant storage tanks and parking for the mobile ground support equipment. Each launch site had its own generators, mounted in large self-contained vans and protected by concrete revetments.