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May 27, 2015

USAF test launches unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile

The US Air Force (USAF) Global Strike Command Airmen has tested an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile installed with a test re-entry vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

By Samseer M

Minuteman III

The US Air Force (USAF) Global Strike Command Airmen has tested an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile installed with a test re-entry vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The ICBM’s re-entry vehicle consisted of a telemetry package used for operational testing. The vehicle travelled around 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

This test launch was aimed to verify accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.

Task Force launch commander major Jacqueline Sartori said: "Operational test launches are an amazing opportunity for our airmen to see the results of their hard work first-hand.

"This launch will help us verify the reliability of our ICBM weapon system and processes."

"This test launch was aimed to verify accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system."

The launch was initiated by crew members from the 625th STOS. It took place aboard the US Strategic Command Airborne Command Post E-6B aircraft.

The data collected from this mission will be used by the US Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and US Strategic Command for continuing force development evaluation.

Under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, the launch team included airmen from the 90th Missile Wing at FE Warren AFB, Wyoming, and the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

625th STOS commander lieutenant colonel Grayson Higby said: "The test marks the culmination of dedicated individual effort, as well as effective coordination between multiple DoD organisations."

In March this year, the USAF Global Strike Command launched an unarmed LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) equipped with a test re-entry vehicle.


Image: An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo by Joe Davila.

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