U.S. tests previously banned missile under the INF treaty

The U.S. has conducted its first test of a previously banned missile after abandoning the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on August 2.

    2019/08/20

NSFW    SAN NICOLAS ISLAND, CALIFORNIA — Washington has conducted its first test of a missile that was previously banned under the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, INF, after the U.S. President Donald Trump's administration formally withdrew from the treaty on August 2.

On August 18, the Pentagon conducted a flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile from San Nicolas Island, California.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, a Pentagon spokesperson said that the missile "was a variant of the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile."

The test missile was launched from a ground mobile launcher and precisely hit its target after flying more than 500 kilometers, according to a news release by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The missile used a conventional warhead, not a nuclear warhead, the Associated Press reports, citing the Pentagon.

The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile has a range of around 1,600 kilometers, according to the U.S. Navy.

The Pentagon said that it intends to begin testing of another non-nuclear ballistic missile with an estimated range of around 3,000 to 4,000 kilometers.

The U.S. Department of Defense said in a news release that data collected from this missile test will "inform our development of future intermediate-range capabilities."

The Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, was signed between the Soviet Union and the U.S. 30 years ago. The treaty banned the use of nuclear and non-nuclear missiles between the ranges of 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

The U.S. withdrew from the INF nuclear weapons treaty after accusing Russia of violating the treaty by deploying its SSC-8 ground-launched cruise missile, according to CNN.
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