US Air Force tests intercontinental ballistic missile

US Air Force tests intercontinental ballistic missile

Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:6AM GMT

The US Air Force has test-launched an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile, the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), from California.

The ICBM was launched off from Vandenberg Air Force Base Tuesday and travelled 4,200 miles over the Pacific to hit a target on the Kwajalein Atoll, the Associated Press reported.

The test was successful, according to the Air Force Global Strike Command.

Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, was the Launch Decision Authority, said a statement published on the website of Air Force base 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg.

“An outstanding display of teamwork ensured 100-percent mission success for the first Minuteman launch of the year here at Vandenberg,” Col. Balts said.

“We constantly focus on flawless execution of our launch, range and expeditionary missions. I am extremely proud of the collaboration between the 30th SW and the 576th FLTS.”

An intercontinental ballistic missile is a ballistic missile with a minimum range of more than 5,500 kilometers (3,400 miles) primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery.

The US Department of Defense will use the data acquired from the test to further develop the project.

The test was met with criticism from activists for a non-nuclear world, including the Santa Barbara-based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

The organization said the test was only two days after the International Day of Peace and three days before the official United Nations Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

“The officials at Vandenberg say the purpose of the test is to ‘validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapons system.’ This means the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of a weapons system capable of destroying civilization,” said David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

“The Air Force is only doing its job: practicing for the destruction of the human species. Instead of launching missiles, we should be leading negotiations to rid the world of weapons of mass annihilation.”

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