Minuteman’s Desert Workout

Technicians fired the solid rocket motors of a Minuteman III first stage at contractor Alliant Techsystems’ test complex in Promontory, Utah, announced Minuteman prime contractor Northrop Grumman. The quality-assurance test, which is part of USAF’s Minuteman solid rocket motor warm line initiative, “provides one more point of assurance of the integrity and reliability of the ICBM weapon system today and the solid rocket motor industrial base for the years to come,” said Tony Spehar, Northrop’s missile system vice president. Under SRMWL, ATK will manufacture up to 10 MM III motor sets over two years. An example of each Minuteman stage is tested under the program each year. This summer, MM III second- and third-stage tests took place in an altitude chamber at Arnold AFB, Tenn. ATK has produced a total of 4,000 Minuteman motors and recently completed a 10-year program to recondition a total of 1,800 of them.