This is the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile with which the US exhibits its nuclear deterrence capacity

USA is carrying out a series of test launches of the international ballistic missile this week, ICBM for its acronym in English, Minuteman III. According to a statement from the US Air Force reported by Europa Press, the first of the two planned took place this Tuesday from the Vanderberg Base in Nebraska and is a “routine and periodic” activity, with which Washington wants to demonstrate that “nuclear deterrence is safe, reliable and effective,” to address the current challenges that “has taken place more than 300 times before”.

The test was carried out on the same day that it was known that Ukraine destroyed a Russian anti-aircraft system in Belgorod with a HIMARS United States, a “red line” that Russia had drawn to avoid a nuclear escalation following the war in Ukraine.

Thomas A. Bussierecommander of the Global Strike Command of the North American Air Force, has stressed that this type of systems represent “the pillar of national defense and international security” and that Weapons such as Minuteman III missiles are “ready to respond” in case of threat.

The LGM-30G Minuteman III They are old acquaintances of the United States deterrent arsenal that They came into operation in the 70s. The “L” in LGM is the Department of Defense designation for silo launch; “G” means surface attack; the “M” guided missile, the 30 stands for the Minuteman series of missiles and the G after “30” is the current Minuteman III.

Manufactured by Boeing and with a unit cost of approximately 7 million dollarsthe Minuteman III is the only land-based intercontinental ballistic missile in the current US nuclear arsenal. The missiles are scattered in reinforced silos to protect them against attacks and connected to a underground launch control center through a reinforced cable system. The launch teams, consisting of two officers, are on 24-hour alert at the launch center. A variety of communications systems provide the president and secretary of defense direct and practically instant contact with each launch team.

In the event that command capability is lost between the launch control center and remote missile launch facilities, the airborne launch control center aircraft E-6B automatically assume command and control of the isolated missile or missiles and are responsible for executing the president's orders.

Minuteman III.Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The development of the intercontinental ballistic missile began in the 1970s. 1950 and the first Minutemanwith the ability to attack Soviet cities, entered service in 1962. The improved version, Minuteman II, added range, precision, and penetration aids to help defeat the Soviet Union's anti-ballistic missile system. These missiles ceased to be in service in 1997.

He Minuteman III measures 18 meters high and 1.67 meters in diameter, has an operational range of 10,000 kilometers, a speed of 24,000 km/hour and offers an accuracy of approximately 240 meters. It is capable of carrying 3 nuclear warheads with a power of 350 kilotons each and was the first Minuteman to feature multiple independently selectable reentry vehicles, MIRVs, making it which allows a single missile to target three locations during its flight. It also has fragmentation bombs to evade enemy anti-aircraft defenses. The United States currently has about 400 Minuteman III operational.

The Minuteman III will be progressively replaced by the new LGM-35 Sentinelwhich will be built by Northrop Grummanwhose entry into service is expected from 2030.