The US Air Force (USAF) has conducted a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch test equipped with a re-entry test vehicle.
The launch took place from Vandenberg Air Force Base (AFB) in California, USA. It was carried out by the Air Force Global Assault Command pilot team.
During the test, the re-entry vehicle of the missile traveled about 4,200 miles to Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
This test aims to validate the operational capability of the ICBM system and is not conducted in response to or reaction to current world events or regional tensions.
Deputy commander-in-chief of Air Force Global Offensive Command (AFGSC) Anthony Cotton said: “Operational tests validate the readiness and reliability of our Minuteman III.
“This further demonstrates to our citizens, our allies and our partners that the men and women on the three wings of the missile provide credible surveillance with a strategic deterrent that is safe, secure and effective.”
The pilot launch came after months of preparation involving various government partners.
USAF 341 Missile Wings provided the missile and the 576th Flight Test Squadron and personnel from all three AFGSC missile wings supported the test launch.
The ICBM community uses data gathered from the pilot launch to ensure continuity of the strength development evaluation.
The ICBM community includes the US Department of Defense, US Department of Energy, and US Strategic Command.
Built by Boeing, the Minuteman III ICBM is a long-range, solid-fuel, three-stage ICBM capable of carrying one or more nuclear warheads.
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