USAF test launches Minuteman III following delay

29 October 2020 (Last Updated October 29th, 2020 14:59)

The US Air Force (USAF) has announced the test launch of unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

USAF test launches Minuteman III following delay
An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test. Credit: Connor Riley.

The US Air Force (USAF) has announced the test launch of unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The rescheduled launch took place from the Vandenberg Air Force Base (AFB) in California, US.

It was originally scheduled to take place on 28 October but was postponed due to bad weather conditions.

The USAF launches the missile only when all the safety parameters in the range and missile are adhered to.

The launch of the missile will enable the command to assess the Minuteman III and collect data to ensure that the system is effective.

Conducted by Air Force Global Strike Command, the missile launch was carried out with Vandenberg’s support.

The Minuteman III launch is the first one hosted by the Vandenberg AFB since it became a part of the US Space Force.

It showcases that the nuclear deterrent of the US is safe, secure, reliable and effective in deterring attacks on the country and its allies.

The LGM-30G Minuteman III is a three-stage, solid-fuelled, intercontinental-range ballistic missile. It is 18.2m-long with a diameter of 1.85m and a launch weight of 34,467kg.

Last month, the USAF test-fired an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM equipped with a test re-entry vehicle.

In February, the USAF announced the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM during a developmental test from the Vandenberg AFB.