US: Unarmed Minuteman 3 missile tested with 5,250-mile flight

An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile was successfully tested early Thursday with a longer-than-usual flight, US Air Force officials said. The missile launched at 3:04 a.m. and traveled approximately 5,250 miles before hitting its target in the south Pacific Ocean near Guam, said 2nd Lt. Raymond Geoffroy. The test proved the weapon system's reliability and accuracy, he said. The flight was about 1,000 miles farther than is typical, and the missile was configured with test equipment from the National Nuclear Security Administration. "The longer flight path is part of our testing procedures," said Capt. Jason Yeates, launch director for the mission. "Every three years we test the extended range of the missile."