A test launch of United States’ Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), capable of carrying multiple self-guided nuclear warheads, scheduled for Wednesday, was aborted just prior to launch, the US Air Force's Global Strike Command said.
"The cause of the ground abort is being investigated and Air force Global Strike Command is assessing the potential to reschedule the launch,” a statement from the Command said.
The missile was scheduled to launch at 00:15 on Thursday, US West Coast time from a silo launcher at Vandenberg AFB in California.
The unarmed warhead of the rocket was supposed to, having flown 6.76 thousand km, hit a given target at the American range in the area of the Kwajalein atoll (Marshall Islands) in the central part of the Pacific Ocean.
"The goal of the ICBM test program is to confirm and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system," the command had said earlier. Minuteman III with a range of 12 thousand km is the only silo-based ICBM in the US strategic nuclear forces.
Test ICBM Minuteman III was supposed to be the second in 2021. The previous one was carried out on February 23 of this year.
The United States currently has some 400 such missiles, each capable of carrying up to three nuclear warheads.