The United States launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with a test reentry vehicle at 1:13 a.m. on the 2nd of October from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

According to the United States Air Force in a release, “the test demonstrates that the United States’ nuclear deterrent is robust, flexible, ready and appropriately tailored to deter 21st century threats and reassure our allies”.

They also stress that “test launches are not a response or reaction to world events or regional tensions”.

The ICBM’s reentry vehicle traveled approximately 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The US say that these test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to “ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent”.

“The flight test program demonstrates one part of the operational capability of the ICBM weapon system,” said Col. Omar Colbert, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander.

“The Minuteman III is nearly 50 years old, and continued test launches are essential in ensuring its reliability until the mid-2030s when the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent is fully in place. Most importantly, this visible message of national security serves to assure our partners and dissuade potential aggressors.”

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Daniele Mandelli

In response to the North Korean test of an SLBM?

They deny it but I do not believe it.


Indeed just as we are told that our Aircraft Carriers have names that in no way whatsoever reflect that of the Queen or the Prince of Wales and its all pure coincidence.


The US Air Force conducts several such launches of the Minuteman III each year and has been doing so for decades. Missiles are taken out of silos and then launched to test and demonstrate that the capability is active. They have absolutely nothing to do with North Korea. This launch may have something to do with the fact that the new US fiscal year began on October 1st.


That image with this story just feels particularly chilling. Its an ‘end of the world as we know it’ weapon if ever fired and that image just feels too much like that moment.

Nick Bowman

I worry that the threat of mutually-assured destruction has been rapidly eroded by advances in anti-ballistic missile capabilities. What happens when one side feels that it can win a nuclear war? Should we develop a more survivable successor to Trident II, or push for a new SALT treaty? The path we are on has become a lot more dangerous as the Soviets and Chinese develop hypersonic glide weapons and undersea methods of delivering nuclear warheads while the west still relies on legacy ICBMs like Minuteman and Trident-II. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard mainstream politicians discuss this subject.

Daniele Mandelli

Personally I would have a treaty, be on a plane to Moscow, and try to start something with Putin.

Sadly, disarmament in the west CND style only seems to involve you giving up yours while the rest keep theirs.

That is like unlocking all your windows and opening all your doors to your house while the rest of the street keep theirs locked.

Nick Bowman

Daniele, you’re right. We cannot get rid of nuclear weapons while potential adversaries retain them. We should be aware, however, that relentless efforts to develop ABM systems paradoxically make the use of nuclear weapons more likely.

Ron Collins

And of course The more you have the more you will become a threat to someone with less …. In that scenario. If it were to all kick off the weaker adversary will feel so threatened that he would probably throw everything in the cupboard at the one getting the upper hand. That’s why both sides must maintain parity, just my opinion


And since when has putins word been reliable?

Daniele Mandelli

Over disarmament? I thought inspectors frpm either side verified and weapons were left out in the open cut up for satellites to check. So it’s not purely on the word of Putin.


The issue isn’t Russia and never will be in regards to new or even current nuclear weapons treaties. The issue is that China is not a party to any of the Nuclear weapons and missile treaties. Therefore both the US and Russia will inevitably HAVE to cheat or repudiate the agreements. That or risk the Chinese deploying a silver bullet and deciding they can act as they wish. The treaties were foolish to begin with and even more so without China and any other future nuclear power being signatories.


The USA and I’m sure the UK are waking up to the fact, China is becoming more of a threat to world peace than Russia. China is rapidly building it’s military power and once it believes it is equal to or exceeds the military power of the West it will use the threat of that military power to further it’s national interests.


Fair enough Daniele.

Ron Collins

I believe that military personnel were invited from both sides to oversee the destruction of each other’s surplus weapons,


As usual the West, i.e., the USA and the UK primarily always pays catch up. The USA is developing a ‘new’ ICBM which I suspect will have improved survival capabilities. It’s also well known, the USA and the UK are developing their own hypersonic weapons systems, but are behind both Russia and China in their development and operational deployment. However, there is a lot of secret work going on in the USA, in the development of many types of future weapons both offensive and defensive and we won’t learn about them until the military is ready to announce them. The… Read more »

Ewiak Ryszard

For now we can sleep in peace. Since 1945 (Operation Unthinkable) Heaven is holding back the wind of the WW3. And so it will be until the appointed time. In the Book of Daniel, we read, “And both these kings [Great Britain and Russia. In 1882 British troops occupied Egypt. Great Britain then took the role of “the king of the south”. Around the same time, Russia expanded its influence in the region, which previously belonged to Seleucus I Nicator, and took the role of “the king of the north”], their hearts (will be) to do mischief, and at one… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Thanks for this….

Meirion X

Keep up the Dreaming!