Boeing to help Air Force keep Minuteman III ICBM guidance systems on target
Missile guidance experts at the Boeing Co. are providing special test components to ensure that the nation's fleet of Minuteman III land-based ballistic nuclear missiles will remain reliable and deadly at least through 2030.
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah - Missile guidance experts at the Boeing Co. are providing special test components to ensure that the nation's fleet of Minuteman III land-based ballistic nuclear missiles will remain reliable and deadly at least through 2030.
Officials of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, announced a $40.6 million order to the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Layton, Utah, for Mod 7 wafer instrumentation support kits for Minuteman test flights from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
The Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) telemetry, test, and termination systems are packaged in a wafer-like package called the Mod 7 that fits on test versions of the Minuteman between the missile's reentry system and missile guidance set. The Mod 7 wafer that contains the telemetry, test, and termination systems is installed only on unarmed missiles that will be test fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California to an impact site in the Pacific Ocean near the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll.
The Air Force conducts Minuteman III test firings from Vandenberg about three times a year to test the missile's performance and reliability. For these tests, Air Force experts choose deployed Minuteman III missiles at random, ship them to Vandenberg, remove their nuclear warheads, and fit them with test equipment that includes the Mod 7 wafer package.
The Mod 7 systems transmit telemetry in real time on the missile's critical onboard components. The Mod 7 package also contains flight tracking and terminal components that enable personnel to destroy the missile in flight if it performs poorly or takes the wrong path.
On this contract, Boeing will do the work in Layton, Utah, and should be finished by May 2022.
For more information visit Boeing online at www.boeing.com.