US planning on testing missiles

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

Hodges' comments came amid media reports that the U.S. plans to test two missile systems banned under the INF Treaty, and that a new cruise missile is scheduled to be tested in August, while a longer-range ballistic missile will be test-launched in November. The new cruise missile is supposed to have a range of 1,000 kilometers, while the ballistic missile will have a range of 3,000 to 4,000 kilometers, the officials said.

Signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the INF Treaty was widely viewed as a breakthrough in arms control. This corresponds to Pentagon's earlier statement, in which the Department said its missile efforts are "conventional only - not nuclear". U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally began the treaty-sanctioned six-month withdrawal period of February 2.

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

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko earlier said Ukraine was no more bound by any restrictions regarding the missile range after Russia's withdrawal from the 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 USA actions "when we entered the phase of harsh disagreements with the Americans on the INF".

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

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According to another senior defence official, it will essentially involve putting a Tomahawk missile in a container that could be placed on a ship or in a mobile launcher. The tests are expected to take place at or after August.

"We haven't engaged any of our allies about forward deployment".

The United States used systems that "de facto were in violation of the basic provisions of the INF Treaty", Peskov stressed.

German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier said, in turn, that he does not rule out a new arms race in the event of the termination of the agreement.

The new nuclear cruise missiles designing to strike targets that neither an intercontinental ballistic missile nor a submarine launched ballistic missile can strike. It may be tested as soon as November 2019, but would likely not see deployment for five years after that. "Think Pershing II. It's a missile of that class". 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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