US test fires N-capable missile over Pacific Ocean

AFP
December 14, 2019

WASHINGTON: The United States tested a medium-range ballistic missile on Thursday, the second test in four months of an offensive missile that would have been banned by a US-Russia arms treaty that...

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WASHINGTON: The United States tested a medium-range ballistic missile on Thursday, the second test in four months of an offensive missile that would have been banned by a US-Russia arms treaty that Washington exited in August.

The Air Force launched the conventionally configured missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base northwest of Los Angeles at about 8:30 am local time (1630 GMT), according to a base spokesperson.

The prototype ground-launched missile flew more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) before plunging into the Pacific Ocean, the Pentagon said.“Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense’s development of future intermediate-range capabilities,” said Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Robert Carver.

Thursday’s test was the second of a ground-launched, medium-range nuclear-capable missile since Washington exited the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Moscow.The INF would have forbidden testing of the missile, as well as a cruise missile tested in August.

‘It alarms us,’ says Russia on US ballistic missile test: Russia said on Friday it was alarmed after the United States tested a ground-launched ballistic missile that would have been banned under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the RIA news agency reported.

The United States carried out the test on Thursday. Washington formally withdrew from the 1987 INF pact with Russia in August after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied. “It alarms us. Of course we will take this into account,” said Vladimir Ermakov, head of the foreign ministry’s arms control and non-proliferation department.

It was the second test by the United States that would have been prohibited under the INF treaty and too place as the future of another major nuclear arms control treaty between Russia and the United States is under question.



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