US Air Force Blasts A Nuclear-Capable Missile Over The Pacific In New Video

US Air Force Blasts A Nuclear-Capable Missile Over The Pacific In New Video

In the early hours of Tuesday, the US Air Force test-fired a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile “to provide confidence in the lethality and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear deterrent.”

To flex their muscles, the military also released video footage (below) and images of the missile as it blazed into the sky of California, leaving a trail of smoke and flames. 

The missile blasted off on Tuesday, June 4, 12:56 am local time from Vandenberg Space Force Base, just north of Santa Barbara along the central Californian coast.

Standing 18.3 meters (59.9 feet) tall, the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) featured a re-entry vehicle that traveled approximately 6,759 kilometers (4,200 miles) before landing near a remote army base in the Marshall Islands, deep in the Central Pacific Ocean.

The missile was unarmed, but this model of rocket is capable of carrying nuclear warheads and, as their name suggests, able to reach countries on other continents. 

Don’t fear, though. This might sound like hawkish honchos setting the table for WW3, but the US Air Force claims “this test is not the result of current world events,” noting that over 300 similar tests have been conducted in the past. 

“As part of that mission, our ICBM force provides 24/7 strategic deterrence and stand ready to respond at a moment’s notice as the most responsive leg of the nuclear triad, and our test launches demonstrate and confirm our readiness to deliver a safe, secure, effective and credible global combat capability,” General Thomas A. Bussiere, commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command, said in a statement

“The U.S. nuclear enterprise is the cornerstone of security for our allies and partners across the globe. Today’s test launch is just one example of how our nation’s ICBMs, and the professional Airmen who maintain and operate them, demonstrate the readiness and reliability of the weapon system. It showcases our commitment to deterrence as we stand on continuous alert, 24/7/365,” added Colonel Chris Cruise, 377th Test and Evaluation Group Commander. 

Around 400 Minuteman III ICBMs are currently at Air Force missile fields in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming, where they’ve been on-guard for more than 50 years.

However, this model of the missile will soon be retired and replaced with the LGM-35A Sentinel ICBM from 2029. The Air Force is set to spend more than $125 billion on 650 Sentinel ICBMs that are designed to last until at least 2075.

Let’s hope we, as a species, make it there!

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