Biden Admin Delays Minuteman III Missile Test Amid Tensions Over Taiwan, Says Report

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Last Updated: August 04, 2022, 23:54 IST

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at at Vandenberg Air Force Base, US, in August 2017. (Image: Reuters/File)

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at at Vandenberg Air Force Base, US, in August 2017. (Image: Reuters/File)

The US Air Force had planned to conduct the test launch this week from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California

The Biden administration postponed a routine test launch of an Air Force Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile to avoid escalating tensions with Beijing amid China’s show of force near Taiwan, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday citing US officials. The US Air Force had planned to conduct the test launch this week from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the report added.

Officials did not define how long the delay would last, but one said it might last 10 days, the WSJ reported.

China deployed scores of planes and fired live missiles near Taiwan in a show of force in the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, a day after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a trip to the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing.

Pentagon officials could not immediately be reached for a comment.

In April, the US military cancelled a test of its Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. That delay had aimed to lower nuclear tensions with Russia during the war in Ukraine.

The nuclear-capable Minuteman III is key part of the US military’s strategic arsenal. The missile has a range of 9,660-plus km and can travel at a speed of approximately 24,000 kmph.

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