On Monday, US Defense Department announced the test of a medium-range ground-launched cruise missile, just weeks after tearing up the Cold War-era pact with Russia eliminating that class of nuclear-capable weapons.
on Sunday, missile was launched from the US Navy-controlled San Nicolas Island off the coast of Los Angeles, California.
The Pentagon said in a statement, “The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) of flight.”
“Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense’s development of future intermediate-range capabilities.”
While the missile was described as “conventionally configured”, which means that it is not equipped with nuclear weapons, the launch was a sign that Washington strengthened its capabilities to fight nuclear war following the collapse of the Treaty of Nuclear Forces of Intermediate Range 1987 on August 2.
The INF had banned all land-based missiles, conventional and nuclear, that could travel between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310 and 3,400 miles), in an effort to abolish a class of nuclear arms being deployed by the United States and the then-Soviet Union that left Europe the most threatened.
The missile tested on Sunday was a version of the nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missile. The ground-launched version of the Tomahawk was removed from service after the INF was ratified.
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