The U.S. military canceled the test launch of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Pentagon announced.
Representatives of the U.S. Air Force explained the cancellation of the ICBM test launch by a desire to reduce nuclear tensions. Earlier, the launch of the Minuteman III missile was planned for March 2, but it was also postponed against the background of how Russia announced that its nuclear forces were on high alert. Then Washington stressed that it was important that both the United States and Russia “remember the risk of miscalculation and take steps to reduce these risks.”
U.S. Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said that the decision to cancel the Minuteman III missile tests was caused by the same reasons as when the first launch was postponed. The next test of the Minuteman III is scheduled for the end of this year.
“The Air Force is confident in the [combat] readiness of the U.S. strategic forces,” Stefanek said.
The Minuteman III ICBM, capable of carrying a nuclear charge, is a key part of the strategic arsenal of the U.S. Armed Forces, has a flight range of more than 9,660 km and can fly at a speed of approximately 24,000 km/h. Missiles of this kind are dispersed in fortified underground mines.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin said in February that the country’s nuclear forces should be put on high alert, raising fears that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could lead to a nuclear war. U.S. officials have said they do not yet see any reason to change Washington’s nuclear readiness levels. According to the results of the cold war, Russia and the United States still have the largest arsenals of nuclear warheads in the world.