On Monday, the Pentagon has informed that it has tested a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile with a range of around 310 miles (500 km), the first such test since the United States of America was pulled out of the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty.
The US has formally withdrew from the 1987 Act with Russia on August 2 after alleged that Moscow was violating the rules, accused the Kremlin has dismissed.
The INF Treaty was negotiated by then United States President Ronald Reagan Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, restricted and-based missiles with a range of between 310 and 3400 miles.
The Pentagon has said in a statement that the test happened on August 18 at California’s San Nicolas Island and it hits the target after over 500 km of flight.
However, such types of missile tests have been banned by the INF Treaty.
Russian lawmaker Frants Klintsevich was quoted saying, “The testing by (the) US military of a land-based missile banned under INF treaty two weeks after the official termination of this treaty is a blatant cynicism and mockery of the international community.”
“We, of course, will do our best in the shortest period of time to ensure that the United States does not have a superiority in these types of weapons,” said Klintsevick that Russia didn’t intend to enter into an arms race.
The US Officials continued that for a number of months they had planned to carry out the missile test in August. Its plan to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile was in November.
Moscow has denied violation of the accord and accused Washington of breaking the pact, allegations dismissed by the US.
The dispute is increasing to worst between US-Russia since the Cold War ended in 1991. Diplomats believed that the treaty has failed could also weaken other arms control deal and speed up the process of global system featured to block the spread of nuclear arms.
A Pentagon spokesperson told sources that the missile test used an MK41 launcher, but the system tests was different as Aegis Ashore Missile Defence System is at preset operating in Poland and Romania.
Russian Defence Ministry didn’t reply to a request for comment sent outside normal working hours.
Disarmament Research at the Arms Control Association Advocacy Group’s Director Kingston Reif said, “Russia had alleged for years that the land-based MK-41 could launch Tomahawks and therefore would violate the treaty.”
“Even though this is the first test of the combination, Russia will no doubt claim vindication,” he said.
The United States Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said that as he is in favour of placing ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles in Asia, it could be years before such missiles are ready to be installed.