Boeing goes ballistic

Boeing has received $78.2m from Northrop Grumman to deploy a replacement Environmental Control System for over 550 US Air Force Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launch facilities.


Boeing has received $78.2m from Northrop Grumman to deploy a replacement Environmental Control System (ECS) for over 550 US Air Force Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) launch, missile alert and Class 1 trainer facilities.



The ECS regulates climate controls and ensures that electronics and ground support systems are maintained at specified pre-set temperatures in launch control centres and launch facilities.



The current Minuteman ECS, in use for more than 40 years, has been the focus of a redesign effort over the past decade. Boeing will remove the current ECS before installing and testing the new one. A separate contractor will manufacture the replacement systems. The contract calls for the work to be completed by 2011.



Boeing, a subcontractor to Northrop Grumman Mission Systems on the Air Force ICBM program, is also responsible for supporting the sustaining engineering and modernisation efforts under way for the silo-based ICBM fleet and supports the Minuteman Force Development Evaluation flight test program at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.


The Minuteman ICBM is a three-stage, solid-fuelled strategic missile. First deployed in the 1960s, there are 500 Minuteman ICBMs currently deployed in the USA’s arsenal.