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LGM-30G Minuteman III  
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1970
Total Production: 700
Unitary Cost: USD$7.0 million
Origin: United States of America
Corporations: Boeing
Parent System: LGM-30G Minuteman III
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1970
Total Production: 700
Total Cost: USD$10.0 billion
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Description: The LGM-30G Minuteman III is a three stage, solid-fuel, land-based, intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) equipped with nuclear warheads and used within the US deterrent forces. The Minuteman III are dispersed in hardened silos to protect against potential attack and connected to an underground launch control center. Launch crews, consisting of two officers, perform around-the-clock alert in the launch control center.

An extensive life extension program is under way to keep the Minuteman III missile safe, secure and reliable well into the 21st century. Under this program the guidance system will replaced with the Peacekeeper guidance system achieving improved accuracy, the solid-fuel rocket motors will be re-manufactured, stand-by power systems will be replaced, launch control centers and silos will receive improved C3 (Command, Control and Communications), and other improvements will be applied to associated equipment.

Under the Minuteman III Propulsion Replacement Program (PRP), Northrop-Grumman will replace the stage 1, stage 2 and stage 3 motors achieving environmentally safer and more reliable propulsion. Up to eight rocket motor sets will be delivered per month by ATK to Northrop-Grumman with final deliveries expected by April 2009. Aging propellant and obsolete materials and components are being removed and replaced during the remanufacturing program.

The Minuteman III is the third generation of proven Minuteman ballistic missile deployed in the 1960s. In the 1970s the Minuteman III missiles were deployed with 3 nuclear warheads (MIRV), but current disarmament treaties between the United States and Russia (1,700 to 2,200 warheads each country) will involve retrofitting of Minuteman III missiles with a single nuclear warhead by 2010. However the Minuteman III accuracy and reliability will be close to the advanced Peacekeeper missiles.

The US Air Force plans call for the Minuteman III ICBM to remain in active service until at least 2020 and 50 LGM-118 MX Peacekeeper missiles to be retired by 2004. The Minuteman III 15-year modernization program, assigned to Northrop-Grumman, started in 1997 is valued at $6 billion.

By December 2005, all Minuteman III launch control centers will receive the upgraded system known as Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network, or MEECN. MEECN receives extremely-high frequency and very-low frequency signals coming from ground stations, orbiting aircraft, and satellite nodes which includes Milstar as the most significant enhancement.

In September 2005 the US Air Force completed the Minuteman III ICBM force evaluation program which included several missile launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. On 7 September 2005, a Minuteman III was launched from Vandenberg reaching the Marshall Islands 30 minutes later traveling about 4,200 miles (6,900 km). That test concluded with two unarmed warheads hitting at Ronald Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein atoll to probe the weapon systems accuracy. The final test launch was conducted seven days after involving an US Navy E-6B Mercury airborne command and control post. During that test, the E-6B demonstrated to be able to take control of remote launch sites which lost contact with the launch center on the ground.

In June 2005 the US Air Force stated that the Minuteman III Propulsion Replacement Program (PRP) was going to affect 595 missiles at $2.5 billion cost. The Minuteman III Guidance Replacement Program (GRP) was going to be implemented into 652 missiles with a total cost of $2.4 billion. Both programs were intended to enhance Minuteman III ballistic missile performance well into 21st century.

On February 7, 2006 the US Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $225 million contract to continue PRP activities for over 27 months. This was the fifth contract option exercised by the USAF since the program started in 1999.

On 31 March 2006 Northrop Grumman was awarded a $135 million six-year contract to begin full rate production phase of the Minuteman III Safety Enhanced Reentry Vehicle (SERV). The SERV program will provide LGM118 Peacekeeper's Mark 21 reentry vehicle to 500 Minuteman III missiles by 2011.

LGM-30G Minuteman III Specifications

Number of Stages: 3
Number of Warheads: 3
Diameter: 1,670 millimeter (66 inch)
Length: 18 meter (709 inch)
Ceiling: 1,120 kilometer
Max Range: 9,664 kilometer (5,218 nautical mile)
Top Speed: 7,636 mps (27,497 kph)
Thrust: 202,600 pound (91,899 kilogram)
Weight: 32,158 kilogram (70,895 pound)
Yield: 1,005 kiloton
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m)   Kilometers (km)   Nautic Miles (nm)   Inch (in)   Yard (yd)   Foot (ft)   Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb)   Kilogram (kg)   kN (KiloNewton)   Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps)   Kilometers per Hour (kph)   Knot (kt)   Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l)   Galon (gl)
Year (yr)   Minutes (min)   Second (sec)
Shaft-Horse-Power (shp)

LGM-30G Minuteman III News

There are 20 news between
19 Sep 2005 and 23 Oct 2019
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019Lockheed Martin Awarded Air Force ICBM Contract
Friday, July 20, 2018Boeing and US Air Force Review Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Design Options
Wednesday, January 31, 2018US Air Force to Modernize ALCS on E-6B Mercury Airborne Command Post
Monday, November 20, 2017DF-41 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile to Enter Service with China in the First Half of 2018
Monday, August 21, 2017Boeing and Northrop Grumman Awarded Contracts to Develop US Air Force New ICBM
Wednesday, October 29, 2014US Air Force Demonstrates Minuteman III Readiness in Flight Test
Tuesday, April 8, 2014United States of America Announces Strategic Force Structure by 2018
Tuesday, December 7, 2010STSS Demonstration Satellites Detect Minuteman III ICBM Through Post-Boost Phase
Wednesday, October 6, 2010Lockheed Martin to Develop Minuteman III Next-generation Reentry Field Support Equipment
Friday, July 16, 2010STSS Demonstration Satellites Detect, Track Test Launch of an ICBM Minuteman Missile

Operators & Related Equipment

United States of America700
2018400plus 54 not deployed missiles to support tests
Jan 2014454

Grand Total 7001
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