Differences between A and B models

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Differences between A and B models

Postby TDRSS on Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:53 pm

Anyone know the differences between the "A" and "B" models of the Minuteman I?

Not trying to play "stump the chump", just wanted to know why AF would make two models of the Minuteman I

Thanks,
TDRSS
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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby hockey85 on Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:25 am

TDRSS wrote:Anyone know the differences between the "A" and "B" models of the Minuteman I?

Not trying to play "stump the chump", just wanted to know why AF would make two models of the Minuteman I

Thanks,
TDRSS


The Minuteman IB had a longer range than the "A" models, and also had the capability of storing 2 targets in its memory while the "A" model could only store 1 target. While the first Minuteman 1A missiles were being enplaced at Malmstrom (Wing I), ongoing research and development made improvements to the propulsion system and guidance system of the Minuteman, so by the time Ellsworth (Wing II) was ready to accept its missiles, the Air Force incorporated the slight advancements into what is known as the Minuteman IB missile. The last Minuteman missiles to be placed in the 490th SMS at Malmstrom were also Minuteman IB's. The rest of the WS-133A wings also had the Minuteman IB.

The Air Force made further improvements to the Minuteman missile, and those became the Minuteman II's which were first placed at Grand Forks (Wing VI) and then the 564th SMS at Malmstrom.

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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby TDRSS on Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:47 pm

Cory,

Your missile guru status scares me... ;-)

Thanks for the answers - guess I'll be digging out some old SAC references to get the skinny on the A's and B's.

Actually, one more query to shoot at you - what was the flight disposition of the A's and B's; what I found said the model differences did have a range shortage (don't remember which one was longer- a or b); I'm wondering if they stuck the "short legs" higher up north, than the "longer legged" sorties. It would make a big difference from dropping into enemy territory, or dropping into Penguin territory.

Cheers,
TDRSS

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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby SAC Killer on Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:57 pm

The A-s were put into the first sites activated, and it was done in a hurry. They actually were Alpha flight at Malmstrom, and the flight went on alert during the Cuban missile crisis.

The A-s were put on alert while the contractor making the third stage worked out problems with the design. They were able to get a shorter stage working properly, so SAC opted to use it while the contractor fixed the design which became the B.
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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby hockey85 on Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:06 am

TDRSS,

The A's had the shorter range (~4500 nm range) and the B's had a longer range (the original promised 5000+). Like SAC Killer said, the A's upper stages had problems of weight because they were made with steel, so the contractor made the next set of upper stages with titanium, which made them lighter. This change, along with slightly increasing the size(more propellent), helped increase the range of the B version. I got this information from documents I printed off a govt declassification website. I can't remember which off the top of my head, but I'll search around and post the link here. It has some pretty interesting info.

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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby TDRSS on Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:58 am

For declas documents I usually hit the big two:

http://www.blackvault.com
http://www.governmentattic.org

Either of these? I'll have to do a search (only so much time in the day...)

Thanks,
TDRSS

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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby hockey85 on Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:20 am

No, those aren't the links. I thought I would have bookmarked the page, but apparently not. I'll keep looking.

Oh, found another difference between "A" and "B". The Minuteman IA had the Mark 5 RV, while the Minuteman IB had the Mark 11A RV. The Mk 5 having an approx. 1 Mt yield, and the Mark 11A having approx. 1-2 Mt yield. Like I mentioned earlier, only Malmstrom ever had the Minuteman IA, but by the late 60's, they had been converted to Minuteman IB's. I never knew that. I always assumed they kept the IA's until upgrading to Minuteman II's. I read this while flipping through some books at the Malmstrom museum this afternoon.

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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby TDRSS on Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:45 am

You guys have a museum? Man, the best corporate knowledge Minot had/has was the Boeing contractors that work in the MPTs, and that only stretches back into the early 1990s. Does the museum have a website, or is it like Nellis' Petting Zoo (classified stuff)?

Cheers
TDRSS

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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby Cancellier on Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:54 pm

Shoot! I thought all the bases had a museum. Warren does. Grand Forks did too, until they sold the building to the Indians.
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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby TDRSS on Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:39 pm

There's a "historical" room in our old SAGE building ("PRIDE bldg"), that has Minot related stuff. And the foyer of the 91st Missile Wing offices has some junk, but mostly historical stuff on the 91st (i.e. B-52, WW2). There is a serious lack of missile-related stuff at Minot. Oops... did I mention the rusted missile at the gate, and the old transporter-erector by the 91st building?

Grand Forks had some good outdoor displays, especially the MM missile.
TDRSS

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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby Cancellier on Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:50 pm

Our museum at GF had some pretty good stuff too. We had console mockups from Deuce, a SRAM training shape and a bunch of other good stuff. When I left the Dak, the front gate had pretty much one of everything except a B-1.
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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby TDRSS on Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:08 pm

Yeah, I was laughing at the "full sized" MM3 and the B-52 and this dinky a$$ model of a B-1. Did they run out of money, or couldn't get one from the Boneyard? ;-)
TDRSS

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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby Cancellier on Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:09 pm

Big Air Force wouldn't let them have one...
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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby hockey85 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:08 am

Here's that link I promised... It's actually a National Security Archive from George Washingston University. Check out the documents on this page. Very interesting stuff.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb249/index.htm

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Re: Differences between A and B models

Postby Capt. Bill on Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:25 pm

Doesn't the F missile also count as MM I. It was used with MM II but also MM I wings that had the Mod.
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