Strategic Deterrence Systems

Safe, secure and reliable land-based deterrence.

Always on Guard

Strategic Deterrence Systems

Strategic Deterrence Systems integrates Boeing’s support of the land-based leg of America’s nuclear deterrence triad, the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The company also sustains vital navigational and control systems across the triad (which also involves U.S. Air Force bombers and U.S. Navy Ohio-class submarines).

In October 2016, Boeing responded to a U.S. Air Force solicitation for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction (TMRR) contract, to partner with the Air Force to develop a new ICBM system. Boeing was one of two companies to be awarded TMRR on Aug. 21, 2017. We are honored to partner with the Air Force on the critical strategic deterrence mission.

Boeing is committed to our partnership with the Air Force, to keeping the United States’ current land-based strategic deterrent safe, secure and reliable, and to the modernization and development of future strategic triad systems that will give the nation a technological leap forward in capability against evolving threats.

Ground Based Strategic Deterrent

The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) is the Air Force’s intended replacement for the Boeing LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBM weapon system, the land-based, silo-launched backbone of the deterrence triad. The Air Force notified Boeing on Aug. 21, 2017 that the company is one of two selected for the GBSD TMRR contract, to partner with the Air Force to provide a safe, secure and effective ICBM system to deter emerging, modern nuclear threats.

Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) will begin in 2020. GBSD deployment is expected to begin in the late 2020s, and GBSD will remain in service through 2075.

Boeing’s GBSD design is built on mature technologies. It offers lower risk and a smooth transition from Minuteman III to GBSD readiness, on schedule, without costly delays from knowledge transfer or learning curves.

Silo-based Missile Systems

Boeing has decades of proven expertise in building, modifying or transitioning silo-based ballistic missile systems – from the 1960s to today – including Minuteman, Peacekeeper in Minuteman silos, and Ground-based Midcourse Defense.

Strategic Deterrence Triad

Boeing has unsurpassed expertise in designing weapon systems built to last for more than 70 years. The Minuteman ICBM has been on uninterrupted alert since 1962, as the backbone of a strategic deterrence triad that is capable, connected and ready.

Download the Strategic Deterrence Triad infographic

Minuteman ICBM

Since 1958, Boeing has designed and delivered the Minuteman ICBM, the nation’s land-based nuclear deterrent. Throughout more than 50 years of continuous enhancements, Boeing innovations in design, sustainment, maintenance and modernization have ensured the safety, security and effectiveness of the Minuteman system.

As the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and a prime systems integrator, Boeing created, tested and delivered every Minuteman ICBM for the Air Force – more than 1,800 Minuteman-series missiles. This, while beating accelerated schedules to deliver an ICBM that has far exceeded its expected lifespan of 10 years. Decades later, Boeing remains integral to keeping the Minuteman III going strong, with an average alert rate of 99.7 percent.

Boeing supports ICBM operations at each Air Force missile wing and in several facilities across northern Utah, in Southern California, and at the Boeing Guidance Repair Center in Ohio. Program leaders have offices at Hill Air Force Base, south of Ogden, Utah, where Boeing has been located near its military customer since the 1950s.

Learn more about our ICBM heritage and the Minuteman III ICBM

Boeing Guidance Repair Center

The Boeing Guidance Repair Center (BGRC) in Heath, Ohio, is responsible for the repair, refurbishment, test and calibration of guidance and control systems found on nuclear-capable platforms for the Air Force and Navy. BGRC also performs identical work on non-nuclear capable guidance and control systems, electronics and radio frequency systems and processors for other platforms. Boeing is the sole provider of Minuteman III ICBM repair services through 2021 and sole provider of aircraft guidance and control services through 2020.


US Flag

The Minuteman III ICBM is an element of the United States’ strategic deterrent forces under the control of U.S. Strategic Command. Air Force Global Strike Command is the force provider, responsible for organization, training, and equipping the operational units to ensure readiness.

The current ICBM force consists of Minuteman III missiles at the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming; the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota; and the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.

The ICBM Systems Directorate (ICBMSD), which reports to the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center within Air Force Materiel Command, is the engineering authority and acquisition agent for the ICBM force. Boeing works with the ICBMSD to sustain and upgrade the Minuteman III and provides technical assistance to ensure the continued reliability of the Minuteman III ICBM.

    Minuteman III ICBM: Safe, Secure, Reliable

    GT-223GM MMIII Flight Test: Aug. 2, 2017

    Strategic Deterrence Systems Feature Stories

    Every Minute Counts

    Every Minute Counts

    March 21, 2017 in Defense

    Boeing employees assigned to Air Force laboratories at Little Mountain Test Facility in Utah repeatedly test and upgrade the Minuteman III ICBM – a weapon system designed to last 10 years that is now more than five decades old.

    Learn More

    Strategic Deterrence Systems Milestones

    Quick Facts

    Oct. 9, 1958 – The U.S. Air Force selected Boeing as the prime contractor and original equipment manufacturer for the Minuteman ICBM. Within a year, Boeing launched the first tethered Minuteman I mockup. Minuteman was the first ICBM to use solid rather than liquid propellant in its rocket motors, and it was smaller in size. Minuteman I could be launched more quickly than earlier ICBMs.

    Oct. 24, 1962 – The first Minuteman I missile field went on alert a year ahead of schedule, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. Minuteman I achieved initial operational capability in November of 1962.

    July 1963 – Minuteman II went on alert. Minuteman II deployment was complete by the summer of 1965. Boeing designed Minuteman II with greater firepower, improved range and greater targeting flexibility.

    June 1968 – The first Minuteman III training missile shipped from Air Force Plant 77 — operated by Boeing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah — to Boeing in Seattle, Wash., for acceptance testing and checkout. Air Force Plant 77 was the final assembly point for all Minuteman missiles.

    1970 – Minuteman III began deployment, and full operational capability was declared in April 1975. It had an expected lifespan of 10 years.

    1974 – Boeing becomes a primary contractor for the operation and maintenance of Little Mountain Test Facility near Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

    1980s – Boeing modified Minuteman silos for the Peacekeeper ICBM, which deployed in 1986.

    August 1993 – Boeing began to redesign the Minuteman III guidance electronics to extend the service life of the missile beyond 2020. Boeing completed 82 months – or nearly seven years – of consecutive on-time or early deliveries of the upgraded missile guidance sets (MGS) to the U.S. Air Force, delivering the final upgraded MGS in February of 2009.

    June 24, 1998 – A Minuteman III ICBM equipped with the upgraded guidance system completed its first successful test flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

    September 2014 – Boeing received an Air Force contract to develop a new Guidance Data Acquisition System for the Minuteman III ICBM.

    January 2015 – Boeing receives an Air Force contract to continue sustaining engineering for Minuteman III ICBM guidance systems.

    August 2017 – Boeing receives one of two contracts to mature technologies for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent.