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Pentagon tests cruise missile with over 500km reach, so INF treaty is now definitely toast

Published: August 19, 2019
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Source: Boing Boing

The Pentagon today announced it tested a conventional ground-based cruise missile that went more than 500 kilometers, which would have been banned under the now-defunct INF treaty.

Between this and the mysterious Russian missile that made the nuclear monitoring sites go dark last week? Yeah, INF is now toast, not just on paper. It's official.

The missile was fired off the coast of California on Sunday.

Data from the missile test will be used to refine weapons development, the Pentagon says.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law suspending the Cold War-era INF Treaty. Putin announced in February that he would halt participation in the treaty after Washington's abrupt decision to pull out of the agreement.

Pentagon officials announced plans this week to move forward with flight tests of two medium to long range missile types previously banned under the Reagan era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) which both Washington and Moscow recently declared they have effectively pulled out of. The tests of the long-banned ground-launched cruise missiles would mark an ultimate point of no return for the fast faltering landmark 1987 treaty.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree which suspended Russian participation in the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The decision came after the US announced their intention to withdraw from the same treaty earlier this year.

Russia has formally pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) after previously signalling that it would take this historic step after the White House announced last month that the US would suspend all obligations under the treaty. President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday formally enacting and finalizing Russia’s suspension of the INF Treaty, which was set to expire in less than six months and subject of heightened tensions after both sides have repeatedly accused the other of having been in violation of its terms for years.

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