LGM-30 Minuteman III

Product Type:

Land-Based Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Using Service (US):

Air Force (USAF)

Program Status:

No more new missiles planned.
Focus is on upgrades and sustainment.

Prime Contractor:

The Boeing Company

Minuteman III

About LGM-30 Minuteman III:





The LGM-30G Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a key element of the U.S. strategic deterrent forces. The Minuteman III is a strategic missile capable of delivering special weapons against a full range of targets. The missiles were manufactured by The Boeing Company and production ended in December 1978.

The Minuteman Program began in 1958 and by April 1967, 1,000 Minuteman missiles were operational and installed in six sites across the U.S. The Minuteman II (first launched in 1964) was capable of striking from six to eight targets with far greater accuracy than its predecessor. The current version, Minuteman III, was first launched in 1968 and provides better accuracy, range and target capability. The latest configuration is the LGM-30G Minuteman III. The missile is currently undergoing modifications, which is described in the following.

In recent years, the DoD's Propulsion System Rocket Engine (PSRE) Life Extension Program (LEP) refurbished/replaced the Minuteman III post-boost propulsion system components produced in the 1970s. Deficiencies identified in several components could have caused system failure/loss of performance and, in turn, cause potential mission failure. Alliant Techsystems (ATK) was responsible for refurbishing all three solid-propellant stages of the missile. The program corrects age related degradation, reduces life cycle costs, and supports MM III availability/reliability through 2030 and the current 450-MM III USSTRATCOM alert requirement. The program is scoped to refurbish the 574 rocket engines necessary to support alert requirements.

The total inventory, as of September 2013, is 574 missiles (450 MM III plus 124 flight and aging/surveillance tests). MM III missiles are currently located in silos at the 90th Missile Wing at Warren Air Force Base (AFB) in Wyoming, the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB in Montana, and the 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB in North Dakota.

The most recent missile test was launched from Vandenberg AFB, California on September 22, 2013.

In August 2013, BAE Systems received a $534 million contract from the Air Force to sustain the readiness of the MM III inventory. According to the contract, the company will deliver systems engineering, integration, testing, logistics and other services to support the missile, ground and launch systems for 450 deployed LGM-30G Minuteman III missiles for the next eight years.



Mission/Role:

The LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, is an element of the strategic deterrent forces of the United States.



FY 2014 DoD Program:

FY 2014 provides procurement funds in the amount of $61.9 million for modifications to the MM III ICBM inventory and missile spares & parts. The main FY 14 modification is the Minuteman Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network (MEECN) modification. Also, FY 14 provides $303.9 million in RDT&E funds.



FY 2015 DoD Program:

FY 2015 provides procurement funds in the amount of $82.0 million for modifications and missile spares & parts. The purpose of the modifications budgeted in FY15 is to support the operational capability of the Minuteman ICBM through 2030. The modifications being performed on LGM-30 in FY 15 are the Minuteman Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network (MEECN) modification, MM Launch Control Center (LCC) Block Upgrades, ICBM Fuze Modernization, and MM Trainers Block Upgrades. MEECN is a continuing modification. MM LCC Block Upgrades and ICBM Fuze Modernization production are new start programs in FY 15. MM Trainer Upgrades is a continuation of various trainer upgrades performed prior to FY 13.

For more information, click to view the FY 2015 USAF Minuteman III Budget.




Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Boeing, and Alliant Techsystems.

Specifications DoD Spending FY2015 Budget

Last Update: August 18, 2014.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard /// (jkasper@bga-aeroweb.com)

External Resources:



The Boeing Company: LGM-30G Minuteman III
Alliant Techsystems: Minuteman III

YouTube: Minuteman III | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: Not Available

MM III U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the Minuteman III Program in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
DoD Minuteman III Purchases in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2011/12/13 + Budget for FYs 2014 + 2015

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the Minuteman III Program

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

MM III Modifications (USAF)
Specifications

Missile Specifications: LGM-30G Minuteman III

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Primary Function: Strategic Nuclear Deterrence
Primary Function: Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)
Prime Contractor: The Boeing Co.
Propulsion: Three solid-propellant rocket motors
First Stage: ATK refurbished M55A1
Second Stage: ATK refurbished SR-19
Third Stage: ATK refurbished SR-73
Thrust: First Stage: 202,600 pounds; Second Stage: 60,793 pounds; Third Stage: 35,086 pounds
Length: 59.9 ft (18 m)
Diameter: 5.5 ft (1.67 m)
Weight: 79,432 lbs (36,030 kg)
Speed: Mach 23/15,000 mph (24,000 km/h) at burnout
Range: 5,218 nm/6,004 miles (9,669 km)
Service Ceiling: 700 miles (1,120 km)
Guidance System: Inertial Navigation System (INS)
Warhead: Nuclear
Deployed: June 1970 (Production ceased in December 1978)

Defense Program

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