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USAF verifies reliability of Minuteman ICBM system

The reliability of Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles has been tested by the U.S. Air Force.

By
Richard Tomkins
A Minuteman III ICBM in its silo. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense
A Minuteman III ICBM in its silo. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense

VANDENBERG AFB, Calif., May 27 (UPI) -- The accuracy and reliability of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile system has been verified through a U.S. Air Force test launch.

The test launch of the unarmed ICBM, equipped with a test re-entry vehicle and telemetry package, took place Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The launch, however, was initiated by crew aboard the U.S. Strategic Command Airborne Command Post E-6B aircraft employing the Airborne Launch Control System.

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The Air Force Global Strike Command said the missile traveled about 4,200 miles to Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

"Operational test launches are an amazing opportunity for our airmen to see the results of their hard work firsthand," said Maj. Jacqueline Sartori from the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., who served as task force commander for the launch. "This launch will help us verify the reliability of our ICBM weapon system and processes."

F.E. Warren AFB is one of three missile bases with crews standing 24-hour alert to oversee the nation's 450 ICBM alert forces.

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