Boeing [BA] yesterday said it has delivered the final upgraded missile guidance set (MGS) for the Minuteman III ICBM to the Air Force, completing 82 months of consecutive on time or early deliveries.
The final delivery was two months ahead of schedule. The milestone was highlighted at a Dec. 11 ceremony attended by representatives of the Air Force, Boeing and ICBM prime contractor Northrop Grumman [NOC].
Boeing performed the MGS upgrade under the ICBM Guidance Replacement Program (GRP), a modernization effort to replace and upgrade the 1970s-vintage navigational electronics in the Minuteman III. Boeing began production of the new electronic sets in 1998. The new electronics will improve flight reliability, maintainability, supportability and nuclear safety while maintaining accuracy and nuclear hardness.
“The Boeing team has worked closely with the Air Force and Northrop Grumman to provide on-time delivery to the warfighter throughout the program,” Charles Dutch, Boeing GRP director, said. “Their efforts have extended the service life of the Minuteman III MGS through 2020.”
Sam McCrea, acting program manager, GRP, 526th ICBM Systems Group, said: “The GRP has grown to be one of the most successful programs in the Air Force. The men and women of Boeing are proud of what they build, and it shows in the performance of each and every MGS on alert today.
“The upgraded MGS is demonstrating important cost savings and flexibility to the U.S. Air Force,” said Dutch. “The Boeing team has developed a system that is safer and easier to maintain and support.”
The Boeing facility in Heath, Ohio, will continue to provide repair, test and calibration services for the ICBM guidance system. The facility also performs repairs and spares work on Air Force aircraft navigation systems, the Airborne Warning and Control System Electronic Support Measures antenna radio frequency processor, and several other aircraft subsystems.
Northrop Grumman leads the ICBM industry team sustaining and modernizing the Minuteman III to extend its life through 2020. The 15-year prime contract was awarded in December 1997 and has a total projected value of more than $6 billion.
The ICBM prime team has successfully maintained force readiness while implementing complex upgrades. The GRP is one of seven major upgrade programs.
Boeing has been the only Air Force ICBM guidance system integration contractor for more than 50 years, working on the Minuteman series and also on the Peacekeeper and Small ICBM.