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Land-based, nuclear-armed ballistic missile with a range of more than 3,500 mi (5,600 km). Only the U.S., Russia, and China field land-based missiles of this range. The first ICBMs were deployed by the Soviet Union in 1958, with the U.S. following the next year and China some 20 years later. The principal U.S. ICBM is the silo-launched Minuteman missile. Submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with ranges comparable to ICBMs include the Trident missile, deployed by the U.S. and Britain, and several systems deployed by Russia, China, and France.
Variants of ICBM
ICBM in full intercontinental ballistic missile
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ICBM, visit Britannica.com.