From Aviationweek.com 2005 May

The U.S. Air Force is studying a possible replacement for the aging Bell UH-1N Huey helicopters used by intercontinental ballistic missile wings, a general said May 24.

The Air Force wants a helicopter that flies farther and faster than the UH-1N and exceeds the Huey's ability to carry about five security personnel, said Maj. Gen. Frank Klotz, commander of the 20th Air Force. The 20 Vietnam-era UH-1Ns flown by the ICBM wings are becoming more difficult to maintain and have trouble covering a missile force that is spread out over tens of thousands of square miles.

"What we are hoping for at some point in the future is that we'll have a replacement ... that will have greater speed and greater capacity for carrying security forces," Klotz said at a Capitol Hill breakfast seminar sponsored by the National Defense University Foundation.

As described by the general, the new helicopter, which has not been funded yet, seems similar in some ways to the Personnel Recovery Vehicle (PRV), a medium-lift, vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft that the Air Force plans to buy for combat search and rescue. But Klotz noted that the PRV will have certain things not required by the ICBM wings, such as defenses against enemy ground fire.

Minuteman mods

Three wings of the 20th Air Force maintain and operate 500 Minuteman III ICBMs: the 90th Space Wing at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.; the 91st Space Wing at Minot AFB, N.D.; and the 341st Space Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Mont.

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The Defense Department's acquisition chief, Michael Wynne, has approved new construction of UH-1Y Huey light utility helicopters starting in 2006 rather than have them be remanufactured from UH-1Ns...

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The U.S. Air Force is considering replacing its aging Minuteman III nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile by incrementally upgrading the existing system until it evolves into Minuteman IV, rather...

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