Minuteman Engine Tests Conclude

Engineers at the Arnold Engineering Development Center on the grounds of Arnold AFB, Tenn., earlier this month completed testing of Minuteman III rocket motors in support of the Minuteman III propulsion replacement program. Under PRP, the Air Force brought on Northrop Grumman to lead an industry team that is replacing the Minuteman’s aging solid-fueled motors with remanufactured ones. The new motors will keep the missile force viable through 2020, the Air Force has said. AEDC started using its J-6 test facility in 2001 to ensure that the new stage 2 and stage 3 motors from the various PRP production lots met quality specifications, according to James Brooks, J-6 program manager. Although this phase of testing is done, AEDC will continue to test Minuteman III motors that are randomly pulled from the operational fleet from time to time to monitor their performance over time, said Brooks. (Arnold report by Janae’ Daniels)