Minuteman missile silos used an interesting hardened UHF antenna. What kind of antenna is this? Does anyone have a drawing with a cross section?

Hardened UHF Antenna


Jay Moore added a picture to a different type of hardened antenna, the truncated cone in the foreground. Different Antenna Jay's antenna might be an annular slot antenna, if it is an antenna and not another hatch. In that case, the lighter gray circle would be a dielectric. I don't think these are the same antenna types.

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    $\begingroup$ Some information about the UHF comm systems can be found here: minutemanmissile.com/uhfradio.html $\endgroup$
    – Jay Moore
    Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ In case anyone wonders, the MF antenna described on the page is an array of crossed folded dipoles. See here for more information: apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/AD0607419.pdf $\endgroup$
    – Olg
    Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Amateur Radio! While this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ I’m going to make a random guess that the top photo contains (at least) 2 antennas. The annular slot on the cone is UHF or VHF, the tan circle around the cone is the annular slot of an HF antenna. $\endgroup$
    – hotpaw2
    Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


I haven't been able to find a complete answer, but have learned the following:

  • the cone pictured in the top photo is a radome serving a weather protection function, not part of the antenna system.
  • the UHF antenna is apparently a receive only antenna, used in the event of land system compromise
  • the receiving antenna is atop a several feet thick concrete slab for protection
  • some of these (not sure if all, or if the one pictured) were manufactured and perhaps designed by Motorola

Source: https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/mimi/hrs2-4.htm


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