Launch has been delayed twice to avoid heightening tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and conflict with China.
After postponing the intercontinental missile test because of increased tension with the Chinawhich has increased since the top Democrat in the US House, Nancy Pelosivisited Taiwan, the United States successfully tested a long-range ballistic missile with nuclear capability on Tuesday, the US Air Force announced. “This test launch is part of routine and periodic activities designed to demonstrate that the United States’ nuclear deterrent is safe, reliable and effective,” the Air Force said in a statement. This missile carried a test re-entry vehicle, which in a strategic conflict could be armed with a nuclear warhead. The Minuteman III, named after the missile, was manufactured by Boeing Co. The projectile has a range of over 9,660 km and can travel at a speed of approximately 24,000 km/h. However, in this initial test, the vehicle traveled about 6,760 kilometers to Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. “We’ve done over 300 tests like this and this test is not a result of current world events,” he pointed out. The test was originally scheduled for March, but was postponed twice. One to avoid heightening tensions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has been taking place since February 24. The second took place in early August, when military tensions escalated over China’s multiple ballistic missile launches and live-fire exercises in reaction to a visit by Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.
*With information from AFP