The United States launched a new test launch on Wednesday of the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) (Minuteman 3), capable of carrying several individual nuclear warheads, the United States Air Force Command said.
The missile was launched at 01:13 US Pacific time from a silo launcher at Air Force Base in California.
An unarmed missile warhead, flying 6.76 thousand km, hit a target at an American training ground in the area of the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific Ocean.
“The test demonstrates that the United States’ nuclear deterrence is reliable, flexible, prepared and appropriately adapted to contain 21st century threats and support our allies,” the report said.
It is noted that “test launches are not a reaction or response to world events or regional tensions.”
This is the fourth test of the Minuteman III ICBM this year. The previous ones were held on February 6, May 1 and 9. On average, four such launches are carried out annually. In 2018, three successful test rocket launches were carried out – April 25, May 14 and November 8. Meanwhile, in July last year, the test failed. During the flight, the rocket had technical problems, and a self-destruction signal was transmitted to it.
Minuteman III with a range of 12 thousand km is the only silo-based ICBM in the US strategic nuclear forces.
Currently, the United States has only 400 such missiles, each of which is capable of carrying up to three nuclear warheads. These ICBMs are on alert in silo launchers in positional areas near Malstrom air bases in Montana with the 341st missile wing, Warren in Wyoming with the 90th missile wing and Minot in North Dakota with the 91st missile wing.