Boeing to provide information security and cryptography for arsenal of Minuteman III nuclear missiles

March 27, 2020
These upgrades will improve Minuteman III nuclear surety, promote overall robustness, and decrease vulnerabilities during code change operations.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – U.S. Air Force strategic weapons experts are asking the Boeing Co. to provide encryption and information security for the nation's fleet of Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Officials of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center's ICBM contracting division at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, announced an $8.3 million order Tuesday to the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Layton, Utah for ICBM Cryptography Upgrade Increment II (ICU II) production.

This modification exercises production lot 3, options 2, 4, 8 and 9, and provides the government 176 A-4 drawers. This effort supports Minuteman III nuclear missiles continuous signal lockout, remote code change, and irreversible transform capabilities in the A4 drawer programmer group of the launch facility.

Related: Navy asks Lockheed Martin to build additional Trident II D5 submarine-launched ballistic nuclear missiles

These key upgrades will add mission-essential improvements to Minuteman III nuclear surety and promote overall robustness while decreasing significant vulnerabilities during code change operations, Air Force officials say.

The ICBM Cryptography Upgrade Increment II project could be worth as much as $104.2 million to Boeing if the Air Force exercises all contract options.

On this order Boeing will do the work in Huntsville, Ala.; Huntington Beach, Calif.; and Layton, Utah, and should be finished by February 2023. For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at, or the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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