An unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile was launched Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile was launched at 12:02 a.m, according to a statement. It delivered a single re-entry vehicle to a target at Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean roughly 4,200 miles away, the Air Force Global Strike Command said.
“These test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent,” the strike command said in a statement.
Planning for the launch took ten months. It was the second of such launches from the base in the last 7 days. The first one was delayed from the fall.
“It’s always a privilege to partner with the tremendous professionals of Air Force Global Strike Command to conduct test launches like this one,” said Col. Chris Moss, 30th Space Wing commander. “The dedication and expertise of the combined 341st Missile Wing, 576th Flight Test Squadron and 30th Space Wing team is simply amazing. Their efforts over the past 10 months to make this mission possible shows why they are some of the most skilled operators in the Air Force.”
The test-firing comes amid heightened tensions between North Korea and the United States. Last week, North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile that exploded soon after launch.