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February 13, 2020

The US Air Force (USAF) stated that an unarmed
Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was launched from the Vandenberg Air
Force Base (AFB). The launch was carried out by Air Force Global
Strike Command with Vandenberg’s support. It is interesting to note that, the Minuteman
III launch is the first one hosted by the Vandenberg AFB since it became a part of the
US Space Force. USAF 30th Operations Group commander Kris
Barcomb was the decision authority for the missile launch. Barcomb said: “We are very proud to have
accomplished this operation with our long-standing mission partner, Air Force Global Strike Command. We look forward to building on this launch
as we continue to provide robust, safe and reliable capabilities critical to the testing
and evaluation of the ICBM program, and many space and range programs to come.” The attached reentry vehicle traveled about
4,200 miles or around 6760 km to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The test was meant to confirm the accuracy
and reliability of the ICBM weapon system. It was not in response to any world events
or regional tensions. In this video Defense Updates analyzes why
American Minuteman III is still one of the most potent ICBMs in the world even after
50 years of entering service? Let’s get started This video is sponsored by War Thunder. If you are, like us, fascinated by military
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20 million players from all over the world! The Minuteman family of missiles has served
as the backbone of the U.S. land-based nuclear strategic force since 1962. In 1955, the Soviet Union successfully tested
a hydrogen bomb, and in 1957 it launched the Sputnik satellite, surpassing the United States
in rocket technology. Fearing that the Soviet Union had the ability
to attack the United States with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), the United States
made the development of a reliable, rapid-response ballistic missile the highest priority. On Feb. 27, 1958, the U.S. Air Force received
approval from the Department of Defense to begin research and development on the new
missile designated Weapon System 133-A, called the “Minuteman.” On Oct. 9, 1958, the Air Force announced its
selection of Boeing as assembly and test contractor for the Minuteman missile. The weapon is tasked primarily with the deterrence
role, threatening Soviet cities with a second strike counter value counterattack if the
U.S. was attacked However, with the development of the U.S.
Navy’s Polaris which addressed the same role, the Air Force began to modify Minuteman into
a weapon with much greater accuracy with the specific intent of allowing it to attack hardened
military targets, including Soviet missile silos. The Minuteman III began development in 1964
and entered service in 1970. It’s command and control lie with the Air
Force Global Strike Command. America deployed around 1,000 Minutemen III
by end of the 1970s. The number shrunk to around 450 by September
2017. The U.S military plans to keep the missile
in service until at least 2030 Minuteman series of missile gained range with
incremental versions with Minuteman III acknowledged to have an operational range of 8,100 miles
or 13,000 km though the exact range is classified. As per many analysts, the missile actually
can travel as far as 9,950 miles or 16,000 km depending on the warhead configuration. Minuteman III is designed to be launched from
missile silos. A missile silo is a vertical cylindrical structure
constructed underground, for the storage and launching of intercontinental ballistic missiles
(ICBMs). The structures typically have the missile
some distance below ground, protected by a large “blast door” on top. They are usually connected, physically and/or
electronically, to a missile launch control center. Minuteman-III missiles are regularly tested
with launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base in order to validate the effectiveness, readiness,
and accuracy of the weapon system, as well as to support the system’s primary purpose,
nuclear deterrence. It has nearly 100 percent reliability. The original inertial navigation system provided
it with an accuracy of about 200 m Circular Error Probable (CEP), but an updated inertial
guidance system gives it 120 m CEP. This basically means the missile can be targeted
with near pinpoint accuracy even at long distances. Minuteman III has three-stage solid-fuel rocket
engines. The first stage is Thiokol TU-122, the second
stage is Aerojet-General SR-19-AJ-1 and the third stage is Aerojet/Thiokol SR73-AJ/TC-1. The solid-fuel missile can stand ready for
extended periods of time with little maintenance. Hence these can be launched on command without
needing preparation. President of the United States can authorize
a nuclear attack from fixed command centers, such as the White House Situation Room or
also through ‘Nuclear Football’. The nuclear football is a briefcase, that
contains codes which can be used by the President of the United States to authorize a nuclear
attack while away from fixed command centers. The president is always accompanied by a military
aide carrying the “football”. So, the missile can be launched at any time
and under any circumstances. A multiple independently targetable reentry
vehicle (MIRV) is a ballistic missile payload containing several warheads, each capable
of being aimed to hit a different target.MIRV allows separately targeted nuclear warheads
to be sent on their independent ways after the main propulsion stages of the missile
launch have shut down. This technology is very complex and greatly
increases the destructive power of a missile. Minuteman III was the first true MIRV capable
missile. It can carry a maximum of 3 warheads and these
can be independently targeted against 3 different locations It carries W78 or W87 warhead. The W78 thermonuclear warhead is the warhead
used on most of the United States Minuteman III missiles. The W78 has a publicly announced yield of
335–350 kilotons of TNT. The W87 is an improvement on W78, its design
includes all modern safety features. The original yield of the W87 was 300 kilotons
of TNT but has the announced ability to be upgraded to a yield of 475 kilotons. So, a single missile is capable of unleashing
destructive power of around 1000 to 1400 kt of TNT. To give viewers a perspective, Little Boy
atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima had a yield of 15 kt of TNT and Fat Man atomic bomb that
was detonated over Nagasaki had a yield of 21 kt of TNT. The launch was the second of four launches
scheduled over the next several years to ensure Minuteman III’s effectiveness. The Department of Defense, Department of Energy
and U.S. Strategic Command collects data from the launches for continued military development. The U.S Air Force says this test launch program
demonstrates the operational ability of its missiles and ensures the United States maintains
nuclear capabilities as part of its national security. The tests are basically meant to make sure
that the missiles are in optimal condition, can be launched at a moment’s notice and
will hit their target as expected. Over the years it has been found that Minuteman
III has been extremely reliable. It is to be noted that the missile has seen
many upgrades over the year to keep them up to date. Actually, more than $7 billion have been spent
in the last decade to upgrade the 450 missiles. For example, the system computer was modernized
so that they could store data for more targets. Though the world has seen the emergence of
much more lethal ICBM like Russian Sarmat, the American Minuteman III remains one of
the best when it comes to range, reliability, payload capacity.

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  1. Minuteman ICBM can carry 4 MIRV warheads, the old SS18 Satan can carry up to 16 MIRV warheads and now the Sarmat missile or Satan 2 can carry up to 10 AMARV warheads with a range of 16 000 km, good luck America

  2. I wonder how many ICBMs explode when launched. They're basically the same rocket's that blow up all the time sending things to space. Then how many mirv will break apart or self destruct re-entering the atmosphere. Hopefully must of them because they never get tested or been used. All nuclear test were carried out by bombs and no nuclear test from a mirv has been attempted

  3. We need to remove all nuclear weapons from the US army. I'm sorry, but you haven't proved that you are responsible owners yet.

  4. Hey DF Team. Love your chan, love your vids. Here's some feedback with respect to maximizing watchability. The content of this video makes it ideal for video playback(i.e. minuteman launches) as opposed to static shots.

    All the best guys, and thank you for your service,

  5. gotta see if those 70 year old ANTIQUES still work at 55 mph. Meanwhile Russia's go Mach 11, China's newest goes Mach 8, I think Iran and Brazil still have better ones that go mach 4.

  6. meanwhile gazillion dolla "economy" canceled one of its hypersonic missile program )) https://www.defensenews.com/smr/federal-budget/2020/02/10/the-air-force-just-canceled-one-of-its-hypersonic-weapons-programs/

  7. The latest Russian Sarmat has TWENTY FOUR warheads!! Some are decoys most are live. I was unaware that the Minuteman platform was that old. Where did all those MX Missile warheads go to when the MX supposedly went off line in 2005?

  8. it is not fair to compare it with the sarmat bro…with 24 mirv including decoys and unpredictable flight trajectory nearly impossible to intercept

  9. USA needs to cut back a little on targeting Russia. Putin whatever you think of him is going smash that Turd Erdoğan. Lets help 😁

  10. Please!!! This means nothing. It can never be used. Topol-M is much more advanced than minuteman and Topol-M is 30 years old.

  11. The US should have kept the M-X Peacekeeper missile that could carry 10 thermonuclear warheads of 300 kilotons each. They were manufactured after the Minuteman missles but Bush Sr. allowed Russia to talk him into including the newer missles in a nuclear weapons reduction treaty… stupid.

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