The History of the Delco-Remy Divsion of General Motors
A.K.A. "The Remy Brothers" or "The Remy Electric Company"
1896-1994
Delco-Remy at the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944   World War Two Products and Product Applications    The Army-Navy "E" Award   Our War Job

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Minuteman II Missile Battery 1962-1978

Minuteman II Missiles were in service from 1962 until 1997.  Currently the Minuteman III is still in service.

This page is divided into two sections:  The first is the battery and the second the Minuteman Missile it went into.

The Delco-Remy Missile Battery:


You are looking at the cross section of part of a Minuteman Inter Continental Ballistic Missile.  The rectangular object in the center is a Delco-Remy designed and built silver-zinc battery that powered the inertial guidance system.  Photo via Gene Phillips.


Here are photos of a battery that had been tested in Plant 21 (Basement of Plant 11).  Government inspection procedures called for every Xth battery to be tested.  These batteries had the electrolyte stored separately from the cells, making them a dry battery until activation.  When a firing current was applied to the explosive squibs in the battery fired releasing the electrolyte into the cells and the battery became active.  The explosive squibs were manufactured in the Phoenix, AZ area and before they could be shipped, 50% of them had to be successfully test fired at the manufacturer with a DR representative on hand.  I got to be that representative once in my brief career in Missile Battery.



The top two terminals were for the squib.  The bottom four were for (2) 28 volt dc outputs.


This is an early battery.  The last ones were built in 1978.


While we were the OEM the Autonetics Division of North American also had its name on the battery as it were the prime contractor for the electronics in the Minuteman II Program.


Note from this side view this is not the same battery mounting that would be used in the battery shown in the missile cross section at the top as this one mounted on the outer diameter of the missile.  Actually two batteries were supplied.  One powered the general electronics in the missile and the other the inertial guidance system.  Both had to supply current for only 186 seconds because by that time the Minuteman II was activated, out of the silo and on its way to its predetermined target, no doubt in the former Soviet Union.  As a ballistic missile once it had fired and established its trajectory, the rocket motors dropped off and the nuclear warhead was basically a high tech artillery shell on its way though the upper atmosphere to the target determined by classical physics.  Luckily none of this ever happened for real, for it if had, none of us would probably be around to either write or read this webpage.

The Minuteman II Missile:


This is a Minuteman II on display at the March AFB Museum in California.

The following photos are from the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton, OH which has a display dedicated to the Minuteman Missile in its Rockets and Missiles Gallery.  These photos give a very good view of what the DR Missile Battery went into and its importance to the defense of the US during the Cold War.


This photo shows where the Minuteman bases were and still are.


This diagram shows the flight path of the missile.  A couple of things to note that are amplified in the following two photos.  First is the life duration of the battery which is 186 seconds. After that time period the missile is in a ballistic or free falling mode while on its way to the target.  The second photo reveals the scary part in that 30 minutes after launch the missile hits its target.  And once a missile is launched it is on its way and can not be called back.  So once somebody starts launching missiles at another country things go down hill in a real hurry.  Based on the distance and time given here the Minuteman would be traveling at over 12,000 miles per hour.

The world has had really only one big experience with ballistic missiles used in wartime and that was the German V-2s that were fired at both London and Brussels during WWII.  Once launched the V-2s would hit their targets in a matter of a couple of minutes and the people in the target area never knew they were coming as they were traveling several times faster than the speed of the sound.  The sonic booms would arrive at the target long after the missile had struck.


 

 

 

 

Delco-Remy at the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944   World War Two Products and Product Applications   The Army-Navy "E" Award   Our War Job
Home  History   The Plants   Plant Photos   Moments in Time  The Products   Product Brochures   Service Manuals   Training Booklets   Video  Employment Numbers   Museums   Sources  Allied Divisions   Revisions   Reunions   Remy Electric Country Club   Vintage Literature about The Remy Electric Company   Links

This Website has no affiliation with General Motors, Delphi Holdings, Remy International, or Borg-Warner.  The content is to only present a historical perspective of the plants and products of the former Delco-Remy Division previous to 1994.  All content
presented on this website is for general information only.   Website designed and maintained by David D Jackson.  
Contact:  David D Jackson