DOD launches unarmed Minuteman III ICBM with three test reentry vehicles

By Sara Sirota / August 4, 2020 at 11:29 AM

The military today launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile integrated with three test reentry vehicles from the Airborne Launch Control System at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.

Testers with Air Force Global Strike Command joined Navy sailors on the E-6 command-and-control aircraft to demonstrate the reliability of the ALCS system, AFGSC announced in a press release today. The three reentry vehicles traveled about 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

"Airmen from the 90th Missile Wing were selected to support the test launch," the notice states. "However, due to current COVID-19 travel restrictions, crewmembers from the [576th Flight Test Squadron] supported the launch with alert crews and an operational crew for the night of the launch."

"This demonstrates that even during the pandemic, Air Force Global Strike Command maintains various levels of redundant capability to assure a national deterrent," the statement adds.