Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fail Safe for Minuteman III

Local space news from OC Resigter here.
Boeing-Anaheim will build on its long history in defense, developing hardware that will allow controllers to destroy Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles if they become a safety hazard during flight. The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing-Anaheim $25.2 million to create the device, a wafer that also will improve the military's ability to track the missiles and gauge their accuracy.

The Minuteman is the land-based arm of the nation's nuclear arsenal. Nukes also can be fired by submarines and dropped by long-range bombers. The "M-3" has a range of more than 6,000 miles and can deliver multiple warheads. Unarmed Minuteman missiles are periodically launched on test flights from Vandenberg Air Force Base and produce contrails visible from Orange County.

Boeing-Anaheim has specialized in control-and-guidance systems for decades, and it developed the navigation systems for virtually all submarines in the modern American fleet.

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