On Aug. 18, at 2:30 p.m. PDT, the US Defense Department conducted a flight test of a ground-launched cruise missile. The missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight. Data collected and lessons learned will inform development of intermediate-range capabilities
— Joseph Dempsey (@JosephHDempsey) August 19, 2019
Putin: U.S. began work on the missile long before declaring its intention to withdraw from INF
“The Americans have tested this missile too quickly after having withdrawn from the treaty. That gives us strong reason to believe that they had started work to adapt the sea-launched missile long before they began looking for excuses to opt out of the treaty.”
The Russian leader said Russia would now also work to design such weapons, but reaffirmed that it wouldn’t deploy the missiles previously banned by the INF Treaty to any area before the U.S. does that first.
Putin charged that the U.S. test was performed using a launcher similar to those stationed at a U.S. missile defense site in Romania. “Such missiles could be launched from facilities in Romania, as well as those to be deployed in Poland,” he said. “It only requires software tweaks. I’m not sure that our American friends will share the information about which software they use even with their European partners.” He said that for Russia that means “the emergence of new threats, to which we will react accordingly.”