Thursday, September 29, 2022

US calls off ballistic missile test launch to lower nuclear tensions with Russia

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The United States cancelled the test launch of its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Minuteman III in order to avoid sending out a wrong signal to Russia amid the latter’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, the US Air Force said on Friday (local time). The US Air Force further said that an earlier launch of the missile was also cancelled due to the same reason.

In a statement to Xinhua news agency, US Air Force’s spokesperson Ann Stefanek said, “The Department of the Air Force recently cancelled the routinely planned test flight of an LGM-30G Minuteman III missile scheduled for March 2022. The launch had been previously delayed due to an overabundance of caution to avoid misinterpretation or miscommunication during the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and was cancelled for the same reason.”

Stefanek added that the Air Force has another launch planned for later this year. “Our next planned test flight is later this year. The Department is confident in the readiness of the strategic forces of the United States.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin in February ordered his country’s nuclear deterrent forces to be put on high alert after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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