Air Force Bases

Minuteman III Major Features

Performance improvements realized in Minuteman III include increased flexibility in reentry vehicle (RV) and penetration aids deployment, increased survivability after a nuclear attack, and increased payload capacity. Minuteman III contains the following distinguishing features:

- A larger third-stage motor to increase range.

- A fixed nozzle with a liquid injection TVC system on the new third-stage motor (similar to the second-stage Minuteman II nozzle) to increase range.

- A RS capable of deploying penetration aids (chaff) and up to three RVs to increase payload delivery.

- An added post-boost propulsion system (the Propulsion System Rocket Engine, or PSRE) to increase range and maneuver the RS. This maneuverability allows the RS to be positioned at selected locations prior to the deployment of its RVs and penetration aids.

- Improved electronics in the guidance system to provide more computer memory and greater accuracy, and to reduce vulnerability to a nuclear environment.

Minuteman III Features
Minuteman III Features