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Prior to MISSILE MASTER, the antiaircraft batteries were controlled and coordinated by voice telephone from a central defense command post where targets were plotted manually on a map of the area.

The increase in speed of aircraft and the high accuracy of the NIKE missile has necessitated the development of a rapid, automatic, electronic system for transmission and coordination of information. MISSILE MASTER relays a tactical decision of a weapons battery commander or the defense commander to all other commanders in the area as soon as it is made.

MISSILE MASTER electronically stores all information on targets in the area and presents it on a TV-like picture tube in a simplified form. This is in addition to its instantaneous trans­mission function.

Although MISSILE MASTER operates independently, it also has the capability of coordinating the fire of the NIKE batteries in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force SAGE interceptor aircraft control system in the overall defense of the continental U.S.

The MISSILE MASTER system was developed by the U.S. Army Signal Engineering Laboratories at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey in conjunction with The Martin Company of Orlando, Florida. Principal subcontractors were the Airborne Instruments Laboratory of Mineola, Long Island, New York, and the American Machine and Foundry Company, New York, New York. Experience with a test system installed at Fort Meade in 1954 enabled the development of a production system for operational use in a relatively short time.

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