The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) is a replacement in development for the LGM-30 Minuteman III ICBM. The launch systems and weapon system command and control physical infrastructure being used for Minuteman III today first became operational with the Minuteman I system in the early-1960s. While certain components and subsystems have been upgraded over the years, including a transition to Minuteman III configuration in the 1970s, most of the fundamental infrastructure in use today is original and has supported more than 50 years of continuous operation.
The Minuteman III flight systems in use today were fielded in the late 1990s and early 2000s with an intended 20-year lifespan. The current Minuteman III system will face increased operational and sustainment challenges until it can be replaced.
The Air Force is focused on developing and delivering an integrated weapon system, including launch and command and control segments. The new GBSD weapon system will meet existing national requirements, while having the adaptability and flexibility to affordably address changing technology and threat environments through 2075. Deployment is projected to begin in the late 2020s.
Last updated: November 22, 2017