U.S. tests missile banned for 30 years under nuclear treaty

19 Août, 2019, 23:44 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • U.S. tests missile banned for 30 years under nuclear treaty

On Sunday, the Pentagon flight tested the missile at San Nicolas Island, California.

The test missile "exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight", the Defense Department said in a statement.

On Sunday, following the United States withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty on August 2, the US tested a new ground-based cruise missile that can range over 300 miles.

Defense officials had said last March that this missile likely would have a range of about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and that it might be ready for deployment within 18 months.

In addition to the land-variant of the Tomahawk cruise missile, the Pentagon has said it also intends to begin testing, probably before the end of this year, an INF-range ballistic missile with a range of roughly 3,000 kilometers (1864 miles) to 4,000 kilometers (2485 miles). While analysts have warned that the treaty's end could lead to a risky new arms race, senior administration officials argued the USA had no choice but to terminate a deal that only one side was abiding by.

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The 1987 treaty, signed by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, had required the destruction of of a particular class of weapons, banning medium-range, ground-based missiles capable of carrying nuclear arms, with a range of 310 to 3,400 miles.

"Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform DOD's development of future intermediate-range capabilities", said in the DoD.

"The testing by (the) USA military of a land-based missile banned under INF treaty two weeks after the official termination of this treaty is a blatant cynicism and mockery of the global community", the RIA news agency cited Russian lawmaker Frants Klintsevich as saying on Monday. "Aegis Ashore is purely defensive. Aegis Ashore is not configured to fire offensive weapons of any type". With the signing of the treaty, those missiles were withdrawn and destroyed. DefenseNews added, "Imagery of the test shows the weapon was launched from a Mark 41 Vertical Launch System, the same launcher used in the Aegis Ashore missile defense system". The Trump Administration previous year announced its plans to pull out of the treaty, citing Russia's long disregard for it and development of an intermediate range cruise missile that violates its parameters.

"We, of course, will do our best in the shortest period of time to ensure that the United States does not have a superiority in these types of weapons", he said, adding that Russian Federation did not intend to enter into an arms race.

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