Unarmed US Missile Test Flight Terminated Due to Anomaly

An unarmed U.S. Air Force Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test May 3, 2017, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Daniel Brosam)
An unarmed U.S. Air Force Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test May 3, 2017, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Daniel Brosam)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — An unarmed U.S. Air Force Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile was intentionally destroyed in flight when an anomaly occurred during a test launch from California.

An Air Force Global Strike Command statement says the flight was safely terminated over the Pacific Ocean at 4:42 a.m. Tuesday.

The Minuteman system's accuracy and reliability is routinely tested with launches from Vandenberg that send a missile's re-entry vehicle on a 4,200-mile (6,759-kilometer) flight to a target in the Kwajalein Atoll of the Marshall Islands.

The Air Force says an anomaly is any unexpected event during a test and could arise from different factors.

A launch analysis group is being formed from various Air Force organizations.

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