US had lost communication with 50 nuke missiles: Report
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 21:54
  
New York: The US had lost communication with nearly 50 intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles , one-ninth of its arsenal for 45 minutes over the weekend, even as defence officials said that there were no chance of an accidental launch or foul play, a media report said on Wednesday.

A defence official said that power failure led to a loss of communication between a control centre and the missiles at F E Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported that President Barack Obama had been briefed on the issue.

"There was no threat to the public," said the defence official.

"The missiles were protected by multiple, redundant safety security and control features," said another military official. Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, notified Defence Secretary Robert Gates of the incident.

The cause of power failure is being investigated but it does not appear to be malicious, according to officials.

There was no evidence of foul play, and the Air Force never lost the ability to launch the missiles, officials said.

The Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles are part of the 319th Missile Squadron stockpiled at Warren Air Force Base near Cheyenne, Wyoming, where 150 ICBMs are located.

The failure affected 50 of them, or one-ninth of the US arsenal. ICBMs at Air Force bases in Montana and North Dakota were not affected.

The newspaper pointed out that in 2008, a series of problems with nuclear weapons and parts, including the accidental transport of a weapon across the US, led Defence Secretary Gates to fire the Air Force secretary and chief of staff.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 21:54


comments powered by Disqus