A rocket engine system for the post-boost upper stage flight phase for the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) has been successfully tested, contractor Northrop Grumman [NOC] says.

A Minuteman ICBM during launch. Photo by U.S. Air Force

The product quality assurance test took place at NASA’s White Sands Testing Facility in New Mexico under a program jointly managed by Northrop Grumman and the Air Force, along with partners Boeing [BA] and Aerojet.

The Propulsion System Rocket Engine (PSRE) is the liquid post-boost upper stage flight of the Minuteman III. The test was conducted as part of the effort under the life extension program for the Minuteman IIIs.

“The entire ICBM team, including our Aerojet and Boeing teammates and the Air Force, celebrate the success of this program as it comes to an end with this final accomplishment,” said Tony Spehar, Northrop Grumman’s vice president and program manager for the ICBM prime integration contract. “These PSRE tests have ensured the reliability of the nation’s deployed Minuteman fleet.”

The program began in 2000 and is responsible for refurbishing the entire Minuteman III fleet of PSREs to extend service life through 2030. Five hundred and fifty five PSREs will have been delivered to the Air Force.