U.S. Tests Formerly Banned Missile from San Nicolas Island
Photo: Department of Defense
By edhat staff
The U.S. military conducted a flight test of a banned missile off San Nicolas Island on Sunday afternoon.
The Department of Defense (DOD) stated at 2:30 p.m. they conducted a flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile. The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) of flight.
DOD stated the data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform their development of future intermediate-range capabilities.
This missile test would have been banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) treaty which the Trump administration and Russia terminated just over 2 weeks ago. The INF Treaty was created in 1987 and banned all types of missiles with ranges between 500 kilometers and 5,500 kilometers (3,410 miles).
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit dedicated to sustaining a peaceful and nuclear-weapon-free world, believes this could be the start of a new arms race between the United States and Russia.
Rick Wayman, Deputy Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, commented, “[Sunday], I spent a peaceful, beautiful afternoon at the beach in Santa Barbara, celebrating a friend’s birthday. The only defense we needed was some sunscreen and a beach umbrella. I was appalled to learn that, just miles from our family’s tranquil celebration, the U.S. took a dangerous and ill-advised leap forward in its arms race with Russia. Testing and deploying such missiles is dangerous and unnecessary, and raises the risk of armed conflict. There was good reason why these weapons were banned for 32 years, and should have remained banned forever.”
The Trump Administration withdrew from the treaty on August 2 claiming Russia was unwilling to stop violating the treaty's terms. Russia then accused the United States of violating the treaty.
"I don't see an arms race happening here," Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters on the day Washington and Moscow withdrew from the treaty. "Russia has been racing, if anybody, to develop these systems in violation of the treaty, not us," reports NPR.