(CNN) — The US Air Force It test-fired a long-range missile carrying a nuclear warhead on Tuesday — without the warhead attached during the test — the force’s Global Strike Command said.
The Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, fitted with a new re-entry vehicle (Editor’s Note: Reentry vehicles have multiple warheads that sit in the nose of the missile and can target different targets simultaneously) is test-launched. About 6,750 km from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to the test range near the Marshall Islands.
The missile, launched at 3:49 a.m. Miami time, was “to demonstrate the readiness of the United States’ nuclear forces and to provide confidence in the destructiveness and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear deterrent,” an Air Force statement said.
“These test launches are part of regular and periodic activities and are not the result of current world events,” the statement continued.
According to Steven Wilson, a spokesman for the Armed Forces Global Strike Command, the launch was originally scheduled for August 4, but was delayed due to concerns over the launch. The Chinese answer For the visit of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan, CNN confirmed. It was a “prudent move,” a U.S. official told CNN at the time.
America’s “Nuclear Triangle”
The US constantly tests its intercontinental ballistic missile system for accuracy and reliability.
“Make no mistake: Our nuclear triad is the cornerstone of national security for our country and our allies around the world,” Col. Chris Cruz, commander of the 576th Airlift Wing, said in a statement. “This planned test launch demonstrates how our nation’s ballistic missile fleet demonstrates our readiness and the reliability of our weapons system. It is an excellent platform to showcase the skills and experience of our strategic weapons maintainers and our missile teams. Homeland,” he added.
The Minuteman III is traditionally known as the only ground-based system in the US nuclear triad. The Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile and long-range strategic bombers are the other two components of the triad.
CNN’s Sandalis Duster, Oren Lieberman and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.
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