The United States announced on Wednesday the failure of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test on take-off, specifying that the missile was unarmed and that an investigation was underway to discover the cause of the dysfunction.
The US military plans to retry this test firing, the US Air Force said in a statement.
Reassure Washington’s allies
The missile was to be launched early Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., For a test the U.S. Air Force regularly performs to demonstrate the effectiveness of U.S. nuclear deterrence and reassure allies of Washington.
It was announced Monday in a tweet from the command of the American strike force. The press release does not specify where it was to crash, but the tested missiles are generally fired in the direction of the Marshall Islands, and are damaged at sea.
A single land launcher
In service for 50 years, Minuteman III has been the only land-based missile in the United States nuclear arsenal since 2005. It is installed in launch silos at three United States military bases in Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana.
The US nuclear arsenal also includes Trident missiles, launched from the sea and deployed on US submarines, and nuclear bombs carried by strategic bombers.
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