USA military tests ground-based cruise missile

Cheryl Sanders
August 20, 2019

The new test comes shortly after the USA withdrew from the 1987 INF Treaty on August 2.

"Until people come to their senses, we will build it up", Trump told reporters October 22 at the White House, referring to the USA weapons arsenal.

The treaty, which went into effect in 1987, banned all land-based cruise and ballistic missiles, either nuclear or conventional, that could strike targets between 500 and 5,500 kilometers away.

"Now that we have withdrawn, the Department of Defense will fully pursue the development of these ground-launched conventional missiles as a prudent response to Russia's actions", Esper said. Such weapons were banned under the INF arms control treaty, which the USA exited this month.

18 conducted a test of an intermediate-range, ground-based cruise missile, about two weeks after the withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Lt. Col Robert Carver, a Pentagon spokesman added, "The launcher used in Sunday's test is a MK 41; however, the system tested is not the same as the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System now operating in Romania and under construction in Poland". On Capitol Hill, a flashpoint in the fight is $96 million the administration requested to research and test ground-launched missiles that could travel within the agreement's prohibited range.

The United States has tested a new ground-based cruise missile that is capable covering 500 kilometers in range, less than three weeks after officially exiting an arms treaty that banned such systems, Defense News reported.

It's not clear what the Pentagon intends to do with any new mid-range missile system, which still remains in early test phase.

"We will, obviously, do all that we can in the shortest possible time not to allow the achieve superiority in these types of weapons", he told state media after the USA missile launch.

However, speaking to reporters earlier this month, Defense Secretary Mark Esper sought to allay those concerns.

According to him, it once again shows that it was the United States and not Russian Federation that was responsible for the collapse of the INF Treaty.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov echoed the lawmakers' comments on Tuesday, saying Moscow "regrets" the USA test and refuses "to be pulled into a costly arms race". The INF was a product of the Cold War, when the United States and Soviet Union would manipulate each other's nightmares of nuclear annihilation in order to maneuver for advantage in times of relative peace. However, the superpowers identified certain weapons deemed mutually menacing, and then worked to eliminate the threat altogether.

Last month, he told the BBC that the Russian missiles were nuclear-capable, mobile, very hard to detect and could reach European cities within minutes.

The weapon, dubbed Skyfall, was powered by a miniaturized nuclear reactor, which would give it a virtually unlimited range.

The missile apparently exploded during testing at a site along the White Sea in Russia's Arctic northwest, killing at least five scientists and causing a local spike in radiation levels. A Wall Street Journal report said radiation-monitoring stations around Russian Federation have gone silent, which raises concerns about whether the Kremlin is attempting to hide evidence about fallout from the explosion.

Other reports by iNewsToday