US tests new missile after withdrawing from INF Treaty

Washington: The US tested a new ground-based cruise missile which can hit a target after more than 500 kilometers of flight, weeks after withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banning such systems, the Pentagon said on Monday in a statement.

The test took place at 2.30 p.m. (Pacific Time) on Sunday at San Nicolas Island, California, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The missile “exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight,” the statement said.

“Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense’s development of future intermediate-range capabilities,” it said.

The US will fully develop ground-launched conventional missiles after withdrawing from the INF Treaty earlier this month, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has said.

The collapse of the INF Treaty, which was signed by the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987, has triggered the fear that a new round of arms race is looming, many analysts say.

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