Officials in PentagonA test-fire of a missile that could deliver nuclear warheads to Russia has been called off, to avoid “misinterpretation” by Moscow, according to NBC.
Officials said the Minuteman 3 test launch was canceled due to concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin might view it as escalatory. Minuteman missiles have formed the core of the United States’ land-based nuclear capability for 60 years.
According to the report, the launch has already been postponed once in March, and is then expected to take place later during the month of April.
The Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, Todd Presley, said in a statement to CNN NBC News: “The Air Force Command recently canceled the routinely planned test flight of a missile LGM-30G Minuteman III The launch has previously been delayed due to excessive caution to avoid misinterpretation or misunderstanding during Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.”
On March 2, announcing that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had ordered the postponement, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that Austin wanted to show that the United States was a “responsible nuclear power” with “no intention of engaging in any actions that could be misunderstood.”
The Air Force generally tests four missiles Minuteman III annually from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Tests are planned months and even years in advance, and it is extremely rare for one of them to be canceled or postponed due to fears that the launch will be provocative.
“Reader. Infuriatingly humble travel enthusiast. Extreme food scholar. Writer. Communicator.”