To reduce the possibility of catastrophic events, US defense officials cancelled a planned intercontinental missile test. “misinterpretation or miscommunication” at a time when Russian nuclear forces are on high alert amid Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine.
Reuters first reported the decision to not test the LGM-30G Minuteman III Missile on Friday, citing comments made by a US Air Force spokesperson. It comes a month after the same test was delayed because Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered his country’s nuclear deterrent forces to be in a higher state of readiness, or “special regime of combat duty.”
Ann Stefanek, spokeswoman for Air Force said that the ICBM test was canceled altogether due to similar reasons.
“The Air Force is confident in the readiness of the strategic forces of the United States,”Stefanek noted that this test was scheduled to take place later in the year.
Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed that test had been canceled due to concerns that Moscow might view it as too aggressive. According to him, the launch was delayed. “due to an overabundance of caution to avoid misrepresentation or miscommunication during the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
Putin has been criticised by the Pentagon for increasing the readiness of Russian nukes forces. The Pentagon called the action “disappointing.” “dangerous, irresponsible and unnecessary.”Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby claimed that the Pentagon delayed the announcement of the delay. “demonstrate that we are a responsible nuclear power.” At the time, Kirby similarly insisted that the decision wouldn’t undermine the readiness of US nuclear forces.
Putin said it. “aggressive statements” by NATO and the West’s sanctions war against Russia made heightened nuclear readiness necessary.
The silo-launched Minuteman III can carry multiple warheads and strike separate targets miles away from each other. It can travel more than 6,000 miles with a speed of approximately 15,000 miles per hour. It was launched for the first deployment in 1970. Production was stopped in 1978. There are 400 Minuteman III active missiles within the Air Force’s inventory. The Air Force typically conducts four launch tests each year.
Officials in the United States plan to begin testing a replacement missile for Minuteman III (the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent) by 2023. By 2036 the entire GBSD fleet will be operational, meaning the missile that was initially designed for 10 years of service, the Minuteman III, could be on the job as long as 66.
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