US tests intercontinental ballistic missile
WASHINGTON, Aug 4, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – The United States on Tuesday
successfully tested an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental
ballistic missile (ICBM) in a launch directed from an airborne command
center, the Air Force said.
The missile was launched at 12:21 am (0721 GMT) from Vandenberg Air
Force Base in California, travelling 6,700 kilometers (4,200 miles)
over the Pacific Ocean before landing in the sea near the Marshall
“The test demonstrates that the United States’ nuclear deterrent is
safe, secure, reliable and effective,” the Air Force said in a
“Airmen… were aboard the US Navy E-6 aircraft to demonstrate the
reliability and effectiveness” of the airborne launch control system,
Colonel Omar Colbert, commander of 576th Flight Test Squadron, said
“the Minuteman III is 50 years old, and continued test launches are
“This visible message of national security serves to assure our
allies and dissuade potential aggressors,” he said.
The Air Force added that test launches were “not a response or
reaction to world events or regional tensions.”
The Minuteman III has been the only surface-to-air missile in the US
nuclear arsenal since 2005. It is installed at bases in Wyoming, North
Dakota and Montana.
Trident nuclear missiles are deployed on US submarines, and US
strategic bombers also carry nuclear devices.