VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE (AP) — An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from California early Wednesday on a test flight to a target in the Pacific Ocean, the Air Force Global Strike Command said.
The missile blasted off at 12:33 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base and its reentry vehicle traveled 4,200 miles (6,759 kilometers) to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands as part of a developmental test, the command said from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.
Developmental tests use a spare missile from storage to validate flight worthiness of new or replacement components. That differs from test launches that use randomly selected operational missiles.
Modernization programs are essential to sustaining the aging Minuteman 3 weapon system, Col. Oma