US Air Force Tests Doomsday Nuclear Launch Attack

If Lenin ever leaps out of his coffin and starts singin' nukes at Rhode Island, this is how America will seek her justice: a nuclear-tipped Minuteman III rocket, aimed straight down Moscow's throat. Will it work? Watch and see!

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Just to make sure all the buttons still work and there isn't too much dust in the computers, the missile team at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California gave the anti-Soviet attack system a trial run. A single Minuteman III arced skyward, wishing it had a real target instead of just plopping into the sea like a chump. But the Pentagon really went all out for this test, using the 60s Airborne Launch Control System to pull the trigger—basically, a way of remotely launching nukes in case the Red Menace hits us before we can hit them. From the video and the brief cheer of a woman in attendance, it looks like we are OK. [The Aviationist]

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DISCUSSION

I'm old enough to have grown up when the Soviet Union still existed, and for-real launches of these things seemed like a distinct - even likely - possibility. While it's good that they're making sure these older systems aren't malfunctioning, this is a reminder of where we could end up. If you don't find the video of this launch even remotely frightening, you need to reevaluate how you see the world. Especially since the old Soviet "Dead Man's Hand" system is still available, if not always activated. This isn't a goddamn video game or just some cool piece of technology, this is still how the world may end. We aren't out of the woods yet.