TechManeuvers in Russia. The US responded with an intercontinental missile launch

Maneuvers in Russia. The US responded with an intercontinental missile launch

Minuteman III rocket launch
Minuteman III rocket launch
Images source: © Afgsc.af.mil
2:21 PM EDT, October 27, 2023

The Russians have conducted exercises involving their nuclear triad in media silence. Although these exercises were not publicized by the Kremlin's propaganda, The US responded with the launch of the Minuteman III intercontinental missile.

Without preceding announcements or propaganda declarations, Russia carried out the atomic maneuvers named Grom.

This involved exercises of the Russian nuclear triad, which included strategic aviation carrying nuclear weapons, submarines armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles, and land-launched intercontinental missiles.

While previous maneuvers were widely publicized, causing worldwide anticipation, this year's Grom exercises were conducted in media silence on October 25.

Grom 2023: Russian Maneuvers

On October 26, 2022, Tu-95MS strategic bombers launched cruise missiles. From the Plesetsk cosmodrome, an RS-24 Yars missile was launched towards the Kura range in Kamchatka. Additionally, the K-114 Tula submarine launched an R-29RMU Sineva missile from the Barents Sea.

Russian submarines K-114 Tula (type 667BDRM) and K-535 Yuri Dolgoruki (type Borei)
Russian submarines K-114 Tula (type 667BDRM) and K-535 Yuri Dolgoruki (type Borei)© Reddit

Remarkably, this year's Grom maneuvers were an exact repeat of last year's scenario. Even the K-114 Tula submarine (Project 667BDRM) participating in the maneuvers was the same one.

What's notable is the non-involvement of newer weapon systems such as the R-30 Bulava missiles, RS-28 Sarmat, Borei-type submarines, or Tu-160 airplanes.

Despite Russia not publicizing its maneuvers this year, The US issued a response on the other side of the globe. It came in the form of a declaration from the US Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC), which is responsible for atomic deterrence and for executing long-range strikes using conventional weapons.

The LGM-30G Minuteman III Missile Launch

The US declared that on October 31, from the hours of 3:47 pm to 9:47 am EST on November 1, they will launch an LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from the Vandenberg Air Force Base. The last test of this kind was conducted in February.

According to the AFGSC, the launch's purpose is to "demonstrate the readiness of US nuclear forces and to obtain assurance about the effectiveness of US nuclear deterrence".

The Command stated that this was not a direct response to the Russian maneuvers; the launch had been planned well in advance and in accordance with international agreements, the information about it was relayed to the Russians.

The LGM-30G Minuteman III is an intercontinental ballistic missile that was introduced in 1970. It is approximately 59 feet long, weighs over 31.5 tons, and can deliver up to three independently targeted thermonuclear warheads. These can be adjusted to have powers ranging from 300 - 500 kT over a distance of 8,077 miles.

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