US planning on testing missiles

Pentagon eager to test banned missiles after discarding Cold War-era nuke treaty

US Gen. Sheds Light on Plans to Deploy Cruise Missiles in Europe Amid INF Exit

When he announced on February 1 that the USA would pull the plug on the INF treaty, President Donald Trump said his administration would "move forward" with developing a military response to Russia's alleged violations.

In August, the Pentagon intends to test a cruise missile with a range of about 1,000 km, capable of flying at a low altitude.

Pentagon's plan came over a month after the Trump administration announced in early February that the United States was withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in six months, starting from Feb. 2. This corresponds to Pentagon's earlier statement, in which the Department said its missile efforts are "conventional only - not nuclear".

Under the INF treaty, all missiles with range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers are banned.

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

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Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to design new weapons banned under the pact but said he would deploy them only if the USA does.

A new cruise missile is scheduled to be tested in August, while a longer-range ballistic missile will be tested later in November, unnamed defense officials told reporters. Both systems would likely be deployed with the U.S. Army.

"We haven't engaged any of our allies about formal deployment", the senior official said.

The United States used systems that "de facto were in violation of the basic provisions of the INF Treaty", Peskov stressed. "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. "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. The missile is unlikely to be deployed sooner than in five years, the news agency said. Russian Federation denied the allegations and accused the United States of violating the pact through its missile defense installations in Europe - accusations the State Department refuted. "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.

However, he thinks it could be possible that the Trump administration was simply arranging for an end of the INF treaty.

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