Two nuclear capable Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles have been tested by the United States military in a week. This is extremely notable because the range on this missile system is approximately 8,100 miles.
Yes, that puts this missile withing range of the capitol of North Korea, Pyongyang. This is no coincidence with the inflammatory rhetoric that is coming from the North Korean regime.
History of Minuteman Missiles (LGM-30)
The Minuteman ballistic missiles have been in the U.S. arsenal since about the mid 1960’s because of the nuclear threats coming from Russia at the time (Cold War).
- Range= about 8,100 miles
- Speed= approximate 15,000 mile per hour
- Carries up to 3 nuclear warheads (Upgraded in 1970 from one missile to 3)
- Land based and designed for Russian nuclear threat deterrence
- Entered military service in 1962
- Planned to be in service until 2030
- Approximately 450 in service and ready to fire today (Down from 1,000 in 1970)
This time it seems that the target of these missiles has a different one than Russia. With Kim Jong-un in North Korea always threatening nuclear strikes ion U.S. forces, the mainland and her allies, the United States military is keen to keep these land based nuclear capable missiles in good working order.
In the video below we can see the launching of one of these missiles from a silo in California, and missile taking off headed for its simulated target. The target of this test was the Kwajalein Atoll which is about 4,200 miles away, said officials from the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command.
A commander in the Vandenburg’s 30th Space Wing said, “These Minuteman launches are essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities”.
This test ensures the reliability of the Cold War era missile system that has modern day challenges today like the North Korean nuclear threats. The United States has stated many times they cannot allow the regime in North Korea to reach the technological breakthrough they need to be able to put nuclear weapons on ballistic missiles and launch them successfully at their enemies. China also says it is their goal to de-denuclearize the Korean peninsula completely. The U.S. and China are slowly aligning themselves with one another as North Korea continues its go against the wills of those two superpowers.
Video Credit: YouTube and YouTube Channel AiirSource Military