The U.S. Air Force shared on Twitter a video showing an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile test launch.
According to a recent service news release, a team of Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana; the 90th MW at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; and the 91st MW at Minot AFB, North Dakota, launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with a test reentry vehicle, Feb. 5 from Vandenberg AFB, California.
The test demonstrates the United States’ nuclear deterrent is robust, flexible, ready and approximately tailored to deter twenty-first century threats and reassure our allies.
The Minuteman III launch is the first one hosted by the Vandenberg AFB since it became a part of America’s newest military branch – the U.S. Space Force.
The ICBM’s reentry vehicle traveled approximately 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. These test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent. Test launches are not a response or reaction to world events or regional tensions.
According to Missile Threat, the Minuteman III is a three-stage, solid-fueled, intercontinental-range ballistic missile. The Minuteman III is the sole land-based component of the U.S. nuclear triad. The Minuteman III has a fast launch time, nearly 100 percent testing reliability, and backup airborne launch controllers to preserve retaliatory capabilities.
The Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) has been on alert since 1962, serving as the most responsive element of the nation’s nuclear deterrence triad by remaining safe, secure and effective.
— U.S. Air Force (@usairforce) February 7, 2020