The US military launched an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile to test the tracking ability of a new ocean-going radar platform in the Pacific.
The Minuteman 2 missile lifted off from a silo on the central coast base on Tuesday night. Its trajectory was tracked by sensors on a floating radar platform designed to distinguish dangerous warheads from decoy missiles.
"This was another safe and successful launch for the 30th Space Wing, the Air Force and the Department of Defense," said Col. Teresa Djuric, the spacelift commander.
Tuesday's test did not involve an interception. The Missile Defense Agency plans two intercept tests later this year - one in the spring and another in the fall to further test the performance of the mobile radar platform, which looks like a massive oil rig.