The schedule calls for the three-stage weapon to blast out of its underground silo on North Base between 11:47 p.m. Tuesday and 5:47 a.m. Wednesday.
Missile tests typically target departure at the beginning of the six-hour launch window established to allow for possible delays related to technical trouble or unfavorable weather at Vandenberg or downrange.
Upon liftoff, the military will track the weapon’s warhead as its travels to a predetermined target, usually in the Central Pacific Ocean.
“This test is routine and was scheduled years in advance,” Vandenberg officials said. “Consistent with previous test launches, this ICBM test launch will validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system.”
The United States, per The Hague Code of Conduct, has provided a pre-launch notification and alerted the Russian government as required under treaties to ensure the test isn’t mistaken for an actual attack, Vandenberg officials said.
The Air Force Global Strike Command conducts three to four Minuteman tests each year to gauge the readiness and realibility of the nuclear crews and the ICBMs.
Some 400 Minuteman III missiles remain on alert near Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana; Minot Air Force Base in Minot, North Dakota; and F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.