The Pentagon on Monday said it had tested a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile with a range of more than 500 kilometres, the first such test since the United States pulled out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
The Trump administration formally withdrew the US from the landmark 1987 pact with Russia on August 2 after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an allegation the Kremlin has denied.
The treaty, which was negotiated by then-US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, banned land-based missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500km.
The Pentagon, in a statement, said that the missile test that took place at San Nicolas island in California, earlier today, would further strengthen the strategic attack in the event of close-in contact with the enemy.
"We will take all the data they are gathering and fold that information into any future evaluations we are going to be doing," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Robert Carver, told Fox News.
Carver added that data evaluations will look at results such as precision targeting, trajectory and damage impact, among other things.
"The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometres of flight. Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense's development of future intermediate-range capabilities," the Department of Defence said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the missile test brings a number of substantial implications, such as introducing a counter weapon, or deterrent to Russia's testing of medium-range land-fired missiles that have been termed as violating the INF treaty by NATO and US-allied Eastern European countries.
US officials had said for a number of months that they planned to carry out the test in August. The US plans to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile in November.
However, Moscow denies flouting the accord and has accused Washington of breaking the pact itself, allegations rejected by the US.
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