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USA test INF range missile

The reaction by Moscow: we repay it in kind -VIDEO

The Pentagon tested yesterday the prototype of a missile configured to carry a nuclear warhead, of which it revealed no further details except that it was launched from a static platform placed at the air base in Vandenberg, California, and ended up in the open sea. The Defense Department added that the ballistic missile flew for more than 500 miles, but its range would be far greater so much so that the Pentagon itself refused to reveal its maximum range. But in any case the armament is included among those prohibited by the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) on Euro-missiles, cruise and ballistic, with a range included between 310 and 3417 miles (from 500 to 5500 kilometers) signed in 1987 by the then presidents of the United States and the USSR. Pact by which the administration of the current head of the White House Trump came out last Summer after accusing Russia of not respecting its rules.

Moscow's reaction to yesterday's launch was not long in coming, and by voice of Vladimir Ermakov, director of the department for non-proliferation and arms control, he said: "We are worried, and of course we will take this into account", stressing that only a few months have passed since the American treaty abandoned it, but that to develop an armament of the range of the missile tested yesterday this handful of months is not enough: Washington therefore had a guilty conscience when it is exit from the pact, because it was already developing missiles prohibited by the same. In light therefore also of another test on a cruise missile successfully carried out by the Pentagon last August, and also included among the weapons prohibited by the INF, Moscow has promised to repay it in kind.

To aggravate the situation comes the declaration made in these hours by the US defense secretary Mark Esper, who replied to a question from journalists about the possibility of an INF-range missile being deployed in Europe: "Once we have developed missiles at mid-range, and if my superiors request it, then we will work closely together and will consult closely with our allies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere regarding any deployment".

Analysts are not needed to understand that at this point a new arms race is no longer a bugbear but a concrete thing. Also because the last limitation to this type of weapon is the Start Treaty signed in 2010, a strongpoint that will expire in 2021 and that can be extended up to five years without renegotiating any of its main terms. But the Trump administration has already shown little interest in this extension ...

Below, the video shows the launch of the missile from the Vanderberg base, in California:

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency