US ICBM Test Aborted Prior To Launch

Washington: The US Air Force said that it aborted a test launch of an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) before the launch, adding the cause was under investigation.

“An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile test launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, experienced a ground abort prior to launch,” Air Force Global Strike Command said in a statement on Wednesday.

The release said the cause of the ground abort was under investigation, and the command “is assessing the potential to reschedule the launch”.

The aborted mission came amid an ongoing debate in Congress on whether to develop a next-generation ICBM to replace the aging Minuteman III, which has been in service since the 1970s.

The Minuteman III is the only land-based ICBM in service in the US.

In 2018, an unarmed Minuteman III was destroyed in flight due to a safety issue during a test launch.