Minuteman III Receives Upgrade

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On October 2, the United States Air Force announced the completion of a $68 million upgrade to the LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at Minot Air Force Base to decrease load and launch times. The upgraded component, called a Data Transfer Unit (DTU), replaced aging systems responsible for loading the missile with data and information needed for day-to-day operation. Capt. Kevin Drumm, 91st Operations Support Squadron ICBM, explained in a press release, “the DTU loads the Missile Guidance Set, which is the brain of the Minuteman III, with sensitive cryptographic data and other information the missile needs in order to function.” The DTU can produce and load a new missile guidance set in about 40 minutes, a process that took legacy systems nearly twice as long.