The primary mission of the F-102 was to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft. It was the world’s first supersonic, all-weather jet interceptor and the U.S. Air Force’s first operational delta wing aircraft. The U.S. Air Force employed TF-102As with side-by-side seating as combat trainers.

The F-102 made its initial flight on October 24, 1953, and became operational with the Air Defense Command (ADC) in 1956. At the peak of deployment in the late 1950s, F-102s equipped more than 25 ADC squadrons. Convair built 1,000 F-102s, most of which were F-102As.

In a tactical situation the F-102’s sophisticated electronic equipment could locate enemy aircraft targets and provide radar guidance into attack position. At the appropriate moment, the electronic fire control system would automatically fire the F-102’s air-to-air rockets and missiles.