Air Pressure Launches First ICBM Check Since Russia ‘Suspended’ New START

Air Pressure World Strike Command test-launched a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile April 19 from Vandenberg House Pressure Base, Calif. The launch, at 5:11 a.m. Pacific time, had been deliberate for months prematurely. 

It was the primary such take a look at since Russia’s Vladimir Putin stated he was “suspending” his nation’s participation within the New START treaty and since Russia and the U.S. stated they stopped sharing information on their nuclear arsenals.

The U.S. has canceled or postponed ICBM exams prior to now to keep away from the chance of escalation or miscommunication at instances of heightened tensions. A March 2022 take a look at was canceled after Russia invaded Ukraine and Putin raised to excessive the alert standing of Russian nuclear forces. One other take a look at was postponed in August, as China performed army workouts round Taiwan in response to then-Speaker of the Home Nancy Pelosi’s go to there. 

The Biden’s administration stated it will not share “high-level” particulars on its deployed nuclear weapons with Russia in March, a response to Russia Putin’s “suspension” of New START in February. 

The U.S. continues to share notifications of the motion of strategic bombers, missiles, and submarines with Russia, nonetheless, together with operational standing, as required underneath New START, officers stated. Beneath the Ballistic Missile Launch Notification Settlement signed in 1988, the U.S. and Russia agreed to provide one another 24 hours discover earlier than testing ICBMs.

The April 19 launch additionally examined the Airborne Launch Management System, used to manage ICBM launches from the air. Airmen from the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron at Offutt Air Pressure Base, Neb., launched the unarmed missile from aboard an airborne Navy E-6 Mercury, supported by Airmen from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Pressure Base, Mont. 

The final prior Air Pressure ICBM take a look at got here in February, shortly earlier than Russia’s announcement relating to New START. Air Pressure World Strike Command final examined the Airborne Launch Management System in August 2022. 

The April 19 take a look at concluded when the re-entry automobile splashed down at Kwajalein Atoll within the Marshall Islands after touring some 4,200 miles.