US conducts test flight of unarmed Minuteman 3 missile

National News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from California early Wednesday on a test flight to a target in the Pacific Ocean, the Air Force Global Strike Command said.

The missile blasted off at 12:33 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base and its reentry vehicle traveled 4,200 miles (6,759 kilometers) to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands as part of a developmental test, the command said from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

Developmental tests use a spare missile from storage to validate flight worthiness of new or replacement components. That differs from test launches that use randomly selected operational missiles.

Modernization programs are essential to sustaining the aging Minuteman 3 weapon system, Col. Omar Colbert, the 576th Flight Test Squadron commander, said in a statement.

The launch was conducted by airmen from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, and the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

Vandenberg’s 30th Space Wing, now a part of the new U.S. Space Force, provided support.

The Air Force said test launches are not a reaction to world events. The launch calendars are developed three to five years in advance, and planning for individual launches takes six months to a year.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Topics including COVID-19, Coal Creek and the Legacy Fund Addressed During Gubernatorial Debate

FNFF: Class AAA

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Underwood School

Contact Tracing

Early Voting

Pink Clothing

Educator of the Year

No Active Duty Airmen at Bars

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast 10/21

Mask Mandate Update

Legislature and COVID-19

Capitol Screening

Amber's Wednesday Morning #OneMinuteForecast 10/21

Wednesday's Forecast: Mostly dry with before a storm

Innovation Pathway

NDC OCT 21

WDA Swimming

Class B Volleyball

Class A Volleyball

More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss