US tests missile with a range of 6,750km
An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile blasted off from a central California military base on Wednesday and successfully reached its target 4,200 miles (6,750 kilometers) away on a Pacific Ocean coral atoll, the Air Force said.
The missile roared out of an underground silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base at about 6:35 a.m., the 30th Space Wing said in a statement. A half-hour later, the lone re-entry vehicle reached a target in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific's Marshall Islands chain.
An Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, crew aboard a four-engine E-6B Mercury aircraft sent the command to launch, officials said.
The weapon was pulled off alert from its silo near Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, for the test.
Vandenberg regularly tests ICBMs to collect data on the weapons' accuracy and reliability.
Another Minuteman 3 launch is scheduled July 27 from Vandenberg.
"Minuteman 3 test launches demonstrate our nation's ICBM capability in a very visible way, deterring potential adversaries while reassuring allies," Air Force Col. David Bliesner said in a statement.
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