By Bill Stewart and Idris Ali
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military has canceled its Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile test in an effort to defuse nuclear tensions with Russia during the war in Ukraine, the Air Force told Reuters on Friday. .
The Pentagon first announced on March 2 that it would postpone the test, following Russia’s claims that it was keeping its nuclear forces on high alert. Washington said at the time that it was important for the United States and Russia to “remember the dangers of miscalculation and take action to reduce those risks.”
+ A Kremlin spokesman says Russia will strengthen its western border to prevent a possible attack
But he only publicly announced his intention to delay the trial “a little”, not cancel it.
Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stephaniek said the decision to cancel the test of the LGM-30G Minuteman III missile was for the same reasons that it had been postponed. The next test of Minuteman III is set to take place later this year.
“The Air Force is confident in the readiness of the U.S. strategic forces,” Stephanek said.
Changing the test schedule for intercontinental ballistic missiles can be controversial. U.S. Senator Jim Inhof, a top Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed disappointment at the postponement of a test in March, saying he was critical of ensuring that the U.S. nuclear deterrence was effective.
Jeffrey Lewis underestimated the impact of the cancellation at the Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation (CNS) missile researcher James Martin.
“There is value in doing experiments, but I do not think it’s really a big problem to miss a test on a massive project,” Lewis said, adding that Minuteman III is very reliable.
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