Published: Tue, August 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

USA military tests ground-based cruise missile

USA military tests ground-based cruise missile

The test, a defense official said, was conducted as a joint project between the Navy and the Strategic Capabilities Office, and used a Mark 41 Vertical Launch System similar to the one found on the Aegis Ashore missile defense system the USA has placed in Poland and Romania, in spite of loud Russian objections. "Russia's noncompliance under the treaty jeopardizes U.S. supreme interests as Russia's development and fielding of a treaty-violating missile system represents a direct threat to the United States and our allies and partners". On Sunday, the Pentagon flight tested the missile at San Nicolas Island, California.

Notably, it stated that the "test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight" or roughly 310 miles, a range once restricted by the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed by Washington and Moscow.

The treaty, which was negotiated by then-US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, banned land-based missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500km (310 to 3,400 miles).

Speaking in France before news of the USA test launch broke, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that it was the United States and not Russia that withdrew "unilaterally" from the C.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said this month that he hopes the Pentagon can develop and deploy INF-range missiles "sooner rather than later", but no specific timeline has been announced.

The test of the ground-launched cruise missiles took place at San Nicolas Island in California at 2:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, according to the Defense Department.

Exiting the treaty, . the US accused Russian Federation of violating the pact, which the Kremlin has denied.

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Officials stressed that the missile is created to carry a conventional and not a nuclear payload.

The Pentagon says it tested a modified ground-launched version of a Navy Tomahawk cruise missile.

The Pentagon had begun pursuing some elements of similar cruise missile technology that complied with the treaty before withdrawing from it, in what Esper described as prudent preparations for the new Russian threat. The U.S. has not made any announcements about where it intends to base them. The US plans to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile in November.

The United States exited the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty August 2, following through on a decision made late a year ago that the treaty no longer benefited American interests.

Russian Federation has for years argued that a similar system as part of the Aegis Ashore defense complex could be used to attack as well from an active site in Romania and another under development in Poland, thus a violation of the INF, but the US has denied this.

The footage was significant because it proved one of Moscow's biggest fears about U.S. Aegis Ashore missile defense systems operating in Poland and Romania.

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