Feb. 24 (UPI) – The test of the Minuteman III missile, which was fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and landed 4,200 miles away, was successful, the Air Force said on Wednesday.
The unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile was launched late Tuesday night, and arrived on target at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the branch said.
Air Force officials said the tests demonstrated that the US nuclear deterrent remains “safe, protected, reliable and effective at preventing twenty-first century threats and reassuring our allies.”
“The operator dispatched the sortie in time and provided another reminder of the readiness and reliability of the Minuteman III weapon system,” Major Jesse Haskett, commander of the launch task force, said in a press release.
The LGM-30G Minuteman III missile, in use since 1970 and an advanced version of the missile developed in the 1950s, is the United States military’s only ground ICBM.
It is considered a single leg, with the Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile and missile-carrying long-range strategic bomber, from the US nuclear triad platform.
The missile tests on Tuesday were carried out by 341 Missile Wings of the Air Force Global Strike Command of Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., And the 576th Flight Test Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The Air Force statement noted that the launch was planned years in advance and was not a response to world events or regional tensions.
The latest Minuteman III test launch, also from California to the Marshall Islands, took place in September 2020.