operational missile was first manufactured in February 1984 and
deployed in December 1986 to the 90th Strategic Missile Wing at F.E.
Warren AFB in Wyoming into retro-fitted Minuteman silos. Fifty working
missiles had been deployed at Warren by December 1988. The planned
deployment of one hundred missiles was cancelled by Congress in July
1985, again over the survivability issue. In that decision, Congress
limited the deployment Peacekeeper ICBMs to 50 missiles until a more
survivable basing plan could be developed.
The survivability issue was to be solved by a "rail garrison"
system whereby 25 trains, each with two missiles, would use the
national railroad system to conceal themselves. It was intended that
this system would become operational in late 1992, but budgetary
constraints and the changing international situation led to it being
The project has cost around $20 billion (up to 1998)
and produced 114 missiles, at $400 m for each operational missile. The
"flyaway" cost of each missile is estimated at $20–70 million.
The missiles were gradually retired, with 17 withdrawn
during 2003, leaving 29 missiles on alert at the beginning of 2004. At
the start of 2005 only 10 remained on alert, scheduled to be retired
by the end of the year. The last Peacekeeper was removed from alert on
19 September 2005 during the final deactivation ceremony when the
400th Missile Squadron inactivated as well. The rockets are being
converted to a satellite launcher role by Orbital Sciences, as the
OSP-2 Minotaur IV SLV, while their warheads will be deployed on the
existing Minuteman III missiles.