top of page

Minuteman Interncontinental Missile Declared Operational

Dec. 11, 1962 - The Minuteman intercontinental missile (pictured) was declared operational today. In a ceremony at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Mont., the Air Force revealed that 20 of the slender 54-foot rockets were in place in underground silos in central Montana. Each is aimed at a specific target and ready for firing on a moment’s notice. Ten of the missiles were ready for combat during the Cuban crisis. The ceremony was attended by high-ranking military men, political officials, and representatives of the industries that put the Minuteman together. The three-stage Minuteman, capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to targets 6,300 miles away, is the nation’s first solid-fuel missile. The Minuteman marks a departure from the liquid-fuel missiles such as the Atlas and Titan in its fast reaction and high degree of reliability. It costs far less to produce, maintain, and operate.


bottom of page