THE US has launched a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile in a test event.
US Air Force officials revealed that the launch was designed to demonstrate the nation’s readiness for a potential nuclear conflict.
The missile was equipped with a re-entry vehicle from California’s Vandenburg Space Force Base.
The vehicle traveled more than 4,200 miles as part of the exercise.
It’s thought that the test is not in response to the current geopolitical context, according to the Air Force Global Command.
Task Force commander Maj. Armond Wong: “Our test launches are scheduled well in advance and are not reactionary to world events.”
Officials said there is a “meticulous” planning process that begins as far as a year in advance.
Col. Chris Cruise, 576th Flight Test Squadron Commander, said: Make no mistake – our nuclear triad is the cornerstone of the national security of our country and of our allies around the globe.
“This scheduled test launch is demonstrative of how our nation’s ICBM fleet illustrates our readiness and reliability of the weapon system.
Air Force officials have revealed that there have been more than 300 missile tests previously.
The test comes just weeks after US officials delayed an intercontinental ballistic missile launch.
John Kirby, of the National Security Council, revealed Washington wanted to “demonstrate the behavior of a responsible nuclear power by reducing the risks of miscalculation and misperception”.
He added: “This is a long-planned test but it is being postponed to remove any misunderstandings given the PRC’s actions around Taiwan.”
The delay came as tensions between China and Taiwan appeared to heat up following Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the contested territory.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping previously warned US President Joe Biden that “whoever plays with fire will get burnt”.