The United States (US) test-fired a new ground-launched cruise missile on Monday, making it the first test launch after Washington opted out of the Cold War era’s Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
“On Sunday, August 18, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, the Department of Defense (DoD) conducted a flight test of a conventionally-configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California,” the Pentagon announced Monday.
The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight, read a statement released by the Pentagon.
This implies that the range of missile is within the 500- 5,500 km (310-3,420 miles) range banned by the INF pact inked in 1987.
The two countries, in 1962, were on the brink of a nuclear war when Moscow responded to a US missile deployment in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba. To avoid such an event again, the accord was signed between the Soviet Union and the US on December 8, 1987. It took effect on June 1, 1988, just before the Cold War ended in 1991.
“Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the DoD’s development of future intermediate-range capabilities,” the statement said.