Minuteman Launch Control Centers Get Communications Boost

The Air Force is upgrading the strategic satellite communications terminal in Minuteman ICBM launch control centers, recently awarding Raytheon a $9.4 million contract for this work. The terminals receive the emergency action messages used in the command and control of strategic nuclear forces. “By awarding this contract, we will provide improved satellite communications for the Minuteman ICBM launch control centers by enabling them to communicate with the new [Advanced Extremely High Frequency] satellites,” said John Gould, program manager for the Minuteman Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network Program Upgrade under which the terminals fall. Raytheon will modify the 46 existing terminals at Minuteman sites and test facility locations. Service officials in late December authorized the terminals for production. Initial fielding of the terminals is scheduled to begin in 2013, with all terminals expected in the field by the spring of 2015. (Hanscom report by Patty Welsh)