The LGM-30G Minuteman III is an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It is the third member of the Minuteman ballistic missiles series. It entered development in 1966 as a further development of the early LGM-30F Minuteman II, and entered service for the first time 1970. The Minuteman III is the product of over 40 years of continual innovation and improvement.
There are 450 Minuteman missiles in service with the United States Air Force Global Strike Command, and about 50 to 75 in reserve. That’s the biggest number of ballistic missiles in the world. Its expected to stay in service until 2030.
The Minuteman III missile has a maximum range of 13 000 km. The original inertial navigation system provided it with an accuracy of about 200 m CEP, but an updated inertial guidance system gives it 120 m CEP.
This missile has three stages and It uses solid fuel, and carries a payload of three independently targetable Reentry Vehicles. Each one of this RVs is armed with a W78 or a W87 nuclear warheads with a destructive power between 300 to 500 kT. During its introduction it was the first MIRV capable missile. It also carries penetration aids to counter enemy missile defense systems.