Here’s MIRV: 50th Anniversary of Minuteman
The LGM-30G Minuteman III, the first deployed ICBM with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV), is the land leg of the storied U.S. nuclear triad. The platform is also 50 years old this year, first fielded in 1970– akin to the era of the Apollo moon missions.
Keep in mind there are currently 45 underground launch control centers manned by USAF missile officers ready to deliver these terrifying birds anywhere worldwide within 30 minutes.
With the ability to carry up to three W62 or W78 warheads on Mk12 delivery vehicles, the 450 remaining Minutemen missiles have been downgraded to accept recycled W87 warheads from the MX missile program. However, with a circular error of probability of fewer than 800 feet after a 6,000+nm trip, that is, like horseshoes, close enough.
The Air Force plans to keep the Minuteman around until 2030ish, at which point the planned Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent will be online.
With that, let us gather around Brig. Gen. Jimmy Stewart and hear about the Air Force Missile Mission and consider visiting one of the decommissioned early ICBM sites currently open as museums.