The Pentagon plans to test a ground-based cruise missile in August 2019.
The Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles (INF) prohibits the production and testing of missiles with a range of 500 to 5.5 thousand km. In February, the United States suspended its participation in the agreement and promised to withdraw from it in six months, if Russia does not return to fulfill its obligations. Moscow responded with a mirror.
“In August, we are going to test a ground – based cruise missile,” he said. The range of the missile is 621 miles (about 1 thousand km), if the tests are successful, the missile can be deployed after 18 months. In addition, the Pentagon is considering testing a medium-range ballistic missile in November, the source added.
He said that the United States has not yet discussed the possibility of deploying banned missiles on the INF on the territory of allied countries. Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Alliance does not plan to place new nuclear missiles in Europe.
The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Mikhail Gorbachev and the US President Ronald Reagan. The contract is indefinite, but each of the parties has the right to withdraw from it if it decides that the circumstances associated with it threaten “its Supreme interests”.
Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the Treaty. So, the Pentagon believes that the Russian missile 9M729 goes beyond the agreement and it was tested at a range of more than 500 km. The Russian defense Ministry says that the missile flew only 480 km. Russia, in turn, accuses the US of testing drones similar in characteristics to missiles prohibited under the Treaty.
The US suspended its participation in the INF Treaty on February 2, and Washington will finally withdraw from the Treaty in six months. After that, Russia took the same step. On March 11, it became known that Washington would resume production of banned INF missiles.