Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A test of a Minuteman III missile, fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and landing 4,200 miles away, was a success, the Air Force said on Wednesday.
The unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile was launched late Tuesday night, and arrived on target at the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the branch said.
Air Force officials said the test demonstrated that the U.S. nuclear deterrent remains "safe, secure, reliable and effective to deter twenty-first century threats and reassure our allies."
"The operators delivered an on-time on-target sortie and provided yet another reminder of the readiness and reliability of the Minuteman III weapon system," Maj. Jesse Haskett, commander of the launch task force, said in a press release.
The LGM-30G Minuteman III missile, in use since 1970 and an advanced version of a missile developed in the 1950s, is the only land-based ICBM of the United States military.
It is regarded as one leg, with the Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile and missile-carrying long-range strategic bombers, of the U.S. nuclear triad of platforms.
The missile test on Tuesday was conducted by the Air Force Global Strike Command's 341st Missile Wing of Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., and the 576th Flight Test Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The Air Force statement noted that launches are planned years in advance and are not responses to world events or regional tensions.
The most recent Minuteman III test launch, also from California to the Marshall Islands, occurred in September 2020.