The United States military has successfully carried out a test of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, which had been postponed to prevent raising tensions with Beijing during show China’s of force near Taiwan earlier this month.
Following the launch early on Tuesday, Air Force Global Strike Command said that the test demonstrated “the preparedness of US nuclear forces and offer confidence in the lethality and efficacy of the nation’s nuclear deterrent.”
Officials verified that the re-entry vehicle for the Minuteman III flew 4,200 miles from Vandenberg Space Force Base in the Santa Barbara region of California to Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
Following the ICBM test launch, Col. Chris Cruise, Commander of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, lauded missile operators and weapon personnel for their “unwavering alertness to protect the country.”
According to the Vandenberg Space Force Base, the test was launched on August 16 at 12:49 a.m.
The test launch was “part of normal and periodic actions designed to show that the United States’ nuclear deterrent is safe, secure, dependable, and effective to deter twenty-first century threats and reassure our friends,” according to a statement from Global Strike Command.
The statement said, “Such tests have happened more than 300 times previously, and this test is not the outcome of recent international events.”
Intercontinental ballistic missiles are mainly developed for the delivery of nuclear bombs and have a range of up to 9,300 miles. They were initially used in the US in 1959 and have since grown to be an essential component of the country’s nuclear arsenal.
The normal test launch last week is said to have been delayed by the Biden administration in order to prevent escalating tensions with China. The Air Force, however, denied any connection between their test and global events.
This year, as Beijing escalated its rhetoric on Taiwan, which it sees as Chinese territory, and as Russia fought a war in Ukraine, the US repeatedly postponed testing.
Following Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing island, China sent out dozens of aircraft and launched real missiles into the Taiwan Strait.
The nation has never given up using force to annex Taiwan and views it as a part of its territory.
The ICBM’s reentry vehicle flew 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, according to the Air Force Global Strike Command.
“These test launches confirm the precision and dependability of the ICBM weapon system, giving useful information to maintain a continuous safe, secure, and potent nuclear deterrence.”
“Make no mistake, our nuclear triad is the cornerstone of the national security of our nation and of our partners throughout the world,” Col. Cruise said.
This planned test launch serves as a showcase for how our nation’s ICBM fleet demonstrates our preparedness and the weapon system’s dependability.
“It is also a perfect platform to demonstrate the skill sets and experience of our strategic weapon maintenance workers and of our missile operators who keep an unrelenting vigilance to safeguard the motherland,” says the statement.
The Task Force commander, Maj. Armand Wong, said that the test was planned out long in advance and that each ICBM test requires at least six months to a year of preparation before it can be launched.
The United States military postponed testing of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile in April. With the continuing crisis in Ukraine, the postponement had been intended to reduce nuclear tensions with Russia.
The Boeing Co. (BA.N)-produced nuclear-capable Minuteman III is essential to the strategic arsenal of the US military. The missile can move at a speed of over 15,000 miles per hour and has a range of more than 6,000 miles (9,660 km) (24,000 kph).
Launch personnel are responsible for distributing missiles from reinforced underground silos.
Fears that a nuclear conflict may result from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were sparked when Russian President Vladimir Putin said in February that his country’s nuclear forces should be placed on high alert. However, according to American authorities, there is currently no justification for altering Washington’s nuclear alert levels.
After the Cold War, which split the globe for a large portion of the 20th century and pitted the West against the Soviet Union and its allies, Russia and the United States have by far the largest nuclear warhead arsenals.