An early model Minuteman missile recently joined rockets and ICBMs in the missile and space gallery of the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, going on display indoors for the first time since arriving at the museum in 1971. Representing the earliest Minuteman IA version—10 of which first went operational at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., in October 1962—the missile was displayed outside of the museum for many years. It now stands alongside a Minuteman III, Peacekeeper, Titan I, Titan II, Thor, and Jupiter ICBM in the gallery. As USAF’s first solid-fueled ICBM, “Minuteman represented a significant advance in USAF ballistic missile technology when it came into service,” said Doug Lantry, museum research historian. Unlike previous Atlas and Titan missiles that required upwards of 30 minutes to fuel, Minuteman could be readied for launch in under a minute. (Dayton report by Sarah Swan)
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.