Pentagon planning to test long-banned missiles after INF pullout: RFE/RL

Lester Mason
March 16, 2019

February 1, Trump withdrew from the INF Treaty, sparking a six-month wait period before complete expiration of the treaty.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated Moscow's position on the INF, explaining that Russia was forced to suspend its participation in the Treaty in response to the U.S. actions "when we entered the phase of harsh disagreements with the Americans on the INF". Many US admirals came forward with statements that these types of missiles are necessary to deter China.

Both the missiles would be conventional and not nuclear, the official said. "It seems to me that Americans will not compromise on this issue". Putin signed a decree suspending Moscow's compliance with the Treaty on March 4. He further stated he hopes that aides to Trump will provide sufficient reasoning to preserve the New START.

The range of the ground-launched missile is 1,000 km (or, 620 miles), which is within the range of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) pact signed in 1987.

The contract, from U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and announced on Wednesday, is valued at $250 million.

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. "You have already heard about the results of the tests we have held, but we adhered to certain restrictions imposed on us by the INF Treaty", the president said.

The United Nations has also asked both the countries to save the treaty. "Honestly, we haven't been thinking about this (deploying intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe) because we have been scrupulously abiding by the treaty", the USA defense official said. "It is the United States that included a provision on R&D on these missiles in the draft budget", the Kremlin spokesman said, TASS reported. "We need high-precision missiles and we are not going to repeat the mistakes of the Budapest memorandum", he added in a reference to the 1994 agreement which led to Ukraine dismantling its large Soviet-era nuclear arsenal. If the test works in November, the Army would develop, procure and roll out the system, according to the senior defense official, who predicted that the process would take no less than five years.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied the allegations that the missile violates the treaty, pointing out that American missile defence systems deployed in Europe can be re-purposed for offensive use and therefore are themselves violating the accord.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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