US to test banned missiles | newkerala.com #113251

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If the test proves successful, the missile could be deployed in about 18 months, the official said.

One project was described by the Associated Press, which spoke to Pentagon officials, as a "low-flying cruise missile with a potential range of about 1,000 kilometers".

Moscow announced on 4 March it would suspend compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in response to the same step by the United States.

"The Russians have been violating the INF treaty for years but, instead of focusing world opinion against the Russians, the Trump administration chose to withdraw from the treaty", Rep. Adam Smith, the Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said recently.

President Donald Trump said Washington intends to withdraw completely from the landmark treaty in six months, accusing Russian Federation of repeatedly violating the 30-year-old pact.

Russian Federation repeatedly denied the allegations that the missile violates the 1987 treaty, pointing out that American missile defense systems deployed in Europe can be repurposed for offensive and therefore are themselves in violation of the treaty.

"We're going to test a ground-launched cruise missile in August", said a senior defense official, who declined to be named.

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Signed in 1987 by then US President Ronald Reagan and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev, the INF Treaty was widely viewed as a breakthrough in arms control.

Trump withdrew from the treaty on February 1 and triggered a formal six-month wait period before the final expiry of the agreement. It bans the production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500km.

Research and development of the banned missiles however, isn't prohibited by the treaty. The systems the Pentagon is planning to test are similar to the missiles that the United States deployed in the 1980s, although without nuclear warheads attached.

The new nuclear cruise missiles designing to strike targets that neither an intercontinental ballistic missile nor a submarine launched ballistic missile can strike.

The defense officials told reporters that allies in Europe and Asia had not yet been consulted about the planned missile tests or if they would be deployed on their territory.

"We haven't engaged any of our allies about forward deployment", the USA defense official said. The missile is unlikely to be deployed sooner than in five years, the news agency said. "On the contrary, we demonstrated to all, using arguments and proof, that it is precisely the United States that became the source of dismantling this document since it in fact made breaches (of this treaty)", the Kremlin spokesman said. Russian Federation also accused USA of breaking the 1987 pact, allegations that U.S. has denied.

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