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LGM-30G Minuteman III

Intercontinental ballistic missiles

Minuteman III

Currently the LGM-30G Minuteman III is the only land-based ICBM in service with the United States

Entered service 1970
Basing Silo-based
Missile length 18.2 m
Missile diameter 1.85 m
Missile launch weight 34.4 t
Number of MIRVs 3
Warhead yield 300-500 kT
Range of fire 13 000 km
CEP 120 m


   The LGM-30G Minuteman III is an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It is the third member of the Minuteman ballistic missiles series. It entered development in 1966 as a further development of the early LGM-30F Minuteman II, and entered service for the first time 1970. The Minuteman III is the product of over 40 years of continual innovation and improvement.

   There are 450 Minuteman missiles in service with the United States Air Force Global Strike Command, and about 50 to 75 in reserve. That's the biggest number of ballistic missiles in the world. Its expected to stay in service until 2030.

   The Minuteman III missile has a maximum range of 13 000 km. The original inertial navigation system provided it with an accuracy of about 200 m CEP, but an updated inertial guidance system gives it 120 m CEP.

   This missile has three stages and It uses solid fuel, and carries a payload of three independently targetable Reentry Vehicles. Each one of this RVs is armed with a W78 or a W87 nuclear warheads with a destructive power between 300 to 500 kT. During its introduction it was the first MIRV capable missile. It also carries penetration aids to counter enemy missile defense systems.

   This ballistic missile is fired from silo-bases only, unlike other Russian and Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles that can be fired from a road mobile TELs.

   It is an effective response system with an extremely fast launch time, a nearly 100 percent reliability, and backup airborne launch controllers to ensure a counterstrike. After the launch order the missile can be launched within minutes. The Minuteman III is 18.2 m long with a diameter of 1.85 m and a launch weight of more than 34 t.

   Because of many treaties that aimed to reduce the nuclear and strategic weapons in the world and especially between the United States and Russia, like Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty or just START I, II and III, the LGM-30G Minuteman III missiles are in the process of being downgraded to single RV, but, with the removal of the LGM-118 Peacemaker missile in 2005, the Minuteman III has become the only US land-based ICBM in service, and is an important member in the US nuclear trinity. There is a series of improvement programs to maintain combat effectiveness. There are silos to fire the Minuteman missile all around the United States, like in Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and other US Air Force bases.



   Article by JAD_TUNISIA

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Video of the Minuteman III ICBM


Minuteman III

Minuteman III

Minuteman III

Minuteman III

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