Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Copyright © 2002 Andreas Parsch

Martin Marietta MGM-134 Midgetman

In the mid-1980s, the U.S. Air Force wanted to develop a small mobile ICBM to complement the fixed silo-based LGM-30 Minuteman and LGM-118 Peacekeeper missiles. System definition studies for this SICBM (Small Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) began in 1984, and in December 1986 Martin Marietta was given the go-ahead for the development of the XMGM-134A Midgetman missile. The first launch of an XMGM-134A in May 1989 was only partially successful, but the second full-scale test launch in April 1991 met all objectives.

Photo: USAF

The XMGM-134A was a three-stage solid-fueled missile, which used a "cold launch" method for lift-off (similar to the LGM-118 Peacekeeper). The missile was ejected from the launch canister by gas pressure, and the first stage motor did not ignite until it was clear of the canister. The Midgetman was to be based on special HML (Hardened Mobile Launcher) vehicles, which could be dispersed in time of crisis. The MGM-134 had a range of about 11000 km (6800 miles), and its warhead consisted of a single Mk.21 reentry vehicle with a 475 kT W-87-1 thermonuclear warhead. The missile's inertial guidance system provided for an accuracy of about 90 m (300 ft) CEP.

After the end of the Cold War, many nuclear weapon development programs were cancelled. This included the Midgetman SICBM, which was terminated in January 1992.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for XMGM-134A:

Length14 m (46 ft)
Diameter1.17 m (3 ft 10 in)
Weight13600 kg (30000 lb)
Range11000 km (6800 miles)
PropulsionThree-stage solid-fueled rocket
WarheadW-87-1 thermonuclear (475 kT) in Mk.21 RV

Main Sources

[1] Bernard Blake (ed.): "Jane's Weapon Systems 1987-88", Jane's, 1988

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Last Updated: 13 November 2002