Boeing is the original equipment manufacturer of the Minuteman series of ICBMs, including the current Minuteman III. The company is also a significant contributor to all aspects of ICBM sustainment. As the Air Force prepares to modernize the strategic deterrence triad with solutions including the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, Boeing will once again answer the call. We will deliver the capability, flexibility and affordability demanded by the mission – on time, on budget and with the best of Boeing technology, innovation, engineering and experience.
Oct. 9, 1958 – The U.S. Air Force selected Boeing as the prime contractor and original equipment manufacturer for the Minuteman ICBM. Within a year, Boeing launched the first tethered Minuteman I mockup. Minuteman was the first ICBM to use solid rather than liquid propellant in its rocket motors, and it was smaller in size. Minuteman I could be launched more quickly than earlier ICBMs.
Oct. 24, 1962 – The first Minuteman I missile field went on alert a year ahead of schedule, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. Minuteman I achieved initial operational capability in November of 1962.
July 1963 – Minuteman II went on alert. Minuteman II deployment was complete by the summer of 1965. Boeing designed Minuteman II with greater firepower, improved range and greater targeting flexibility.
June 1968 – The first Minuteman III training missile shipped from Air Force Plant 77 — operated by Boeing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah — to Boeing in Seattle, Wash., for acceptance testing and checkout. Air Force Plant 77 was the final assembly point for all Minuteman missiles.
1970 – Minuteman III began deployment, and full operational capability was declared in April 1975. It had an expected lifespan of 10 years.
1974 – Boeing becomes the primary contractor for the operation and maintenance of Little Mountain Test Facility near Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
1980s – Boeing modified Minuteman silos for the Peacekeeper ICBM, which deployed in 1986.
August 1993 – Boeing began to redesign the Minuteman III guidance electronics to extend the service life of the missile beyond 2020. Boeing completed 82 months – or nearly seven years – of consecutive on-time or early deliveries of the upgraded missile guidance sets (MGS) to the U.S. Air Force, delivering the final upgraded MGS in February of 2009.
June 24, 1998 – A Minuteman III ICBM equipped with the upgraded guidance system completed its first successful test flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
September 2014 – Boeing received an Air Force contract to develop a new Guidance Data Acquisition System for the Minuteman III ICBM.
January 2015 – Boeing received an Air Force contract to continue to maintain Minuteman III ICBM guidance systems.
October 2016 – Boeing responded to the Air Force solicitation for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction (TMRR) contract, to partner with the Air Force to provide a “future ICBM” to deter emerging, modern nuclear threats.
August 2017 – Boeing was honored to receive one of two GBSD TMRR contracts to start work on the system’s preliminary design.