LGM-30 Minuteman III ICBM

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Product Type:

Land-Based Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Using Service (US):

Air Force (USAF)

Program Status:

No more new missiles planned.
Focus is on 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.

Minuteman III is one component of the U.S. nuclear triad with the other two parts being the Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), and the B61 and B83 nuclear bombs carried by long-range strategic bombers.

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 (MM III). MM III features a Thiokol TU-122 (M55A1) rocket motor for the first stage (refurbished by Orbital ATK), an Aerojet-General SR-19-AJ-1 for the second stage (refurbished by Orbital ATK) and an Aerojet/Thiokol SR73-AJ/TC-1 (refurbished by Orbital ATK) for the third stage.

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. Orbital ATK was responsible for refurbishing all three solid-propellant stages of the missile.

The Air Force ICBM Fuze Modernization program will, in the coming years, replace current MM III Mk21 reentry vehicles + W87 warheads and Mk12A reentry vehicles and W78 warheads. The legacy fuzes are three times past the original design life. The new fuze (reentry vehicle + warhead) will be a form, fit, and functionally equivalent replacement for the legacy Mk21/W87 and Mk12A/W78. The new fuze will also be used on the next generation Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) missile, which will replace the MM III. The new fuze will have a 30-year design life.

The active ICBM inventory, as of September 2017, is 400 MM III missiles (+50 non-deployed missiles). The inventory was reduced to 400 missiles from 450 in an effort that was completed in April 2017. The cut leaves the deployed ICBM arsenal at its smallest size since the early 1960s. MM III missiles are currently located in silos at the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. 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.

In the most recent MM III test, on August 2, 2017, a team of Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen from the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren AFB launched an unarmed Minuteman III missile equipped with a single test reentry vehicle.

The Air Force Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program will design, develop, produce and deploy a replacement for the Minuteman III. The GBSD program is scoped to deliver a fully integrated weapon system beginning in the FY 2029 timeframe to close key capability gaps and vulnerabilities and to mitigate ground-based deterrent degradation due to MM III component age-out and attrition. The GBSD development effort is being led by the ICBM Systems Directorate at Hill AFB in Utah.

GBSD Production Forecast:

A 15-year GBSD production forecast is available through Forecast International's Platinum Forecast System, which includes a breakout of total market unit and value statistics by manufacturer and end-user. This real-time service also includes information on all prime and subcontractors, contract awards, a complete program history, and a rationale detailing the outlook of the program. A 10-year GBSD production forecast is also available in report format through Forecast International's Missile Forecast service.


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

FY 2020 & FY 2021 - MM III + GBSD DoD Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.

Sources Used: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Boeing, and Orbital ATK.

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Missile Forecast:

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Forecast International Budget Data:

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DoD Spending in FY 2014, FY 2015, FY 2016, FY 2017 and FY 2018 + 5-year forecast

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