An unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base overnight.
Base officials say the Minuteman III missile took off at 12:49 a.m. Tuesday.
The routine test launch was scheduled years in advance with the purpose of validating and verifying the “effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system” and to “provide confidence in the lethality and effectiveness of the nation's nuclear deterrent,” Air Force Global Strike Command said in a press release.
Air Force officials say the intercontinental ballistic missile was randomly selected from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, then transported to Vandenberg where it was reassembled and launched. The missile traveled approximately 4,200 miles at a speed of more than 15,000 mph to a test range near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
"Tonight's success is due to the hard work and dedication of Guardians and Airmen from across Team Vandenberg whose contributions are vital to our nation's security," said Col. Bryan Titus, Space Launch Delta 30 vice commander and launch decision authority. "These test launches demonstrate the readiness of U.S. nuclear forces and provide confidence in the lethality and effectiveness of the nation's nuclear deterrent."
The launch window was from 12:01 a.m. to 6:01 a.m.