LGM-30 Minuteman

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The LGM-30 Minuteman is the only land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) of the United States. The Minuteman was the world's first solid-fueled ICBM.[1] The missiles are manufactured by Boeing.

There were three variants: Minuteman-I, Minuteman-II and Minuteman-III. Minuteman-I and Minuteman-II are now retired and Minuteman-III is the only active Minuteman missile.

Contents

Etymology

The "L" in "LGM" is the Department of Defense designation for silo-launched, "G" stands for surface attack and "M" means guided missile.[2] "Minuteman" derived from Minutemen of the American War of Independence.

History

The Minuteman missiles were conceived in the late 1950s.[3] The first flight of the Minuteman-I missile was on February 1, 1961.[4] Minuteman-II was launched in 1964.[4] Minuteman-III was launched in 1968 and it had greater accuracy than the previous variants.[4] Minuteman-I and Minuteman-II were retired in 1997, and since then Minuteman-III is the only land-based ICBM of the United States.

Current situation

Minuteman missiles are solid-fueled, three-stage intercontinental ballistic missiles.[4] At the end of the 20th century, there are over 500 Minuteman-III missiles in the inventory of the United States Air Force.[5][6][7] Minuteman-III has a speed of approximately 15,000 mph and a range of over 6,000 miles.[6]

References

  1. Boeing SM-80/LGM-30 Minuteman Designation-Systems.Net
  2. LGM-30 MINUTEMAN III United States Air Force
  3. LGM-30 Minuteman III Federation of American Scientists
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 LGM-30 Minuteman Missile Boeing
  5. Introduction to the United States Air Force. DIANE Publishing, p156. ISBN 1428926216. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Nicholas D. Evans (2004). Military Gadgets: How Advanced Technology is Transforming Today's Battlefield and Tomorrow's. FT Press, p110. ISBN 0131440217. 
  7. LGM-30 Minuteman III Globalsecurity.org
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