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An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile was destroyed early Wednesday minutes after it blasted out of a California coast underground silo on a flight to test the weapon's reliability, the Air Force said.
It's the second Minuteman 3 test problem in five weeks at Vandenberg Air Force Base, located on the coast about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
...."Established parameters were exceeded, and controllers sent destruct commands."
On June 22, an unarmed Minuteman 3 was launched on a test flight to the Marshall Islands atoll, but a communications problem forced the launch command to be issued by ground control rather than an airborne launch control system.
In that missile test, the ICBM and its re-entry vehicle successfully reached its Kwajalein Atoll target.
So, the Air Force just lost a decades-old Minuteman III ICBM during a test launch this morning out of Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
The missile was destroyed northeast of the pacific Island of Roi Namur by officials with Vandenberg’s western test range after they detected a “flight anomaly,” according to an Air Force announcement.
While the announcement didn’t elaborate on the “anomaly” the missile most likely showed signs of diverting from its planned flight path. It’s far too early to tell what went wrong with the aging ICBM