US looks to test ground-launched cruise missile in August

US looks to test ground-launched cruise missile in August

US looks to test ground-launched cruise missile in August

If the testing is successful, the missile could be deployed in about 18 months.

The United States aims to test a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of about 1,000 km in August, Reuters reports, citing a Pentagon official.

According to comments by US officials to the Associated Press, the United States will begin testing two weapons-both armed exclusively with a conventional payload.

However, the future of New Start seems bleak, with experts viewing the possibility of the agreement being abandoned by its signatories as a real threat, especially since the U.S. and Russian Federation have already pulled out of the intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) 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 United States actions "when we entered the phase of harsh disagreements with the Americans on the INF".

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According to ANI news reports, the US and Russian Federation relations have become icy since last year's October when US President Donald Trump has alleged Moscow of violating the INF pact and threatened to withdraw from the pact with Moscow.

However, the two sides have been accusing each other of violating the arms control agreement amid increasing tensions in recent years.

Russian Federation repeatedly denied the allegations that the missile violates the 1987 treaty, pointing out that American missile defense systems deployed in Europe can be repurposed for offensive and therefore are themselves in violation of the treaty.

Reuters cited the unidentified Pentagon official as saying that the U.S. is also looking to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile in November.

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.

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"I think this particular White House and this particular national security adviser (John Bolton) are intent on the treaty coming to an end, so they have designs on a post-INF world in which the fielding of these capabilities is no longer prohibited either in Europe or in the Asia-Pacific", Reif said.

The new nuclear cruise missiles designing to strike targets that neither an intercontinental ballistic missile nor a submarine launched ballistic missile can strike.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that Europe would be most vulnerable to any negative consequences of the potential collapse of the INF Treaty.

The defense officials said USA allies in Europe and Asia have not yet been consulted about deploying either new missile on their territory.

"It's a brand new missile", the senior defense official said.

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As former US Senator and arms control activist Sam Nunn said at the conference: "In this new era, we are much more likely to have war by blunder or miscalculation - by interference from third parties - than from a deliberate premeditated attack". 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.

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