The United States reported on Wednesday that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), an operation that had been announced in advance to avoid aggravation of tensions with Russia in the midst of the conflict in Ukraine.
The unarmed Minuteman III was launched on September 7 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 1:13 a.m. local time and traveled some 6,760 km over the Pacific Ocean before sinking into the sea near Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Marshall Islands, the Air Force announced in a statement.
"This test launch is part of routine and periodic activities designed to demonstrate that America's nuclear deterrent is safe, reliable and effective."
"This test is not the result of current world events," the text noted.
The US air force had successfully launched a Minutemen III ICBM on August 16, after twice postponing the test also to avoid tensions amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the dispute between China and Taiwan.
The Minuteman III, in service for 50 years, is currently the only ground-based ICBM in the US nuclear arsenal. The missiles are housed in silos at three military bases: Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana.
The US arsenal also includes submarine-launched Trident ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons carried by strategic bomber aircraft.