US Army Has Conducted Long-Range Precision Missile Test That Exceeds Maximum Threshold
15:46 GMT 14.10.2021 (Updated: 16:04 GMT 14.10.2021)
WASHINGTON, October 14 (Sputnik) - The US Army conducted a test flight of a new long-range precision missile that exceeded maximum threshold, Lockheed Martin said on Thursday.
"Lockheed Martin’s Precision Strike Missile completed its longest flight to date, exceeding maximum threshold, with the US Army yesterday at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California," Lockheed Martin said in a press release. "This marks the fifth consecutive successful flight test for the missile."
Another test flight for the weapon is scheduled to take place before the end of this year, the release said, adding that the goal is to have early operating capability by 2023. The missile was launched from a high Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems launcher and flew over the Pacific Ocean, the release said.
A Politico reporter earlier broke the news on Twitter, saying that the range exceeded what had been agreed to by the US and Russia in the now-suspended Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
According to Defense News, "the original intent was to reach a maximum of 499 kilometers," but Washington's 2019 pullout from the INF Treaty "has allowed the US Army to develop the missile to reach ranges much farther."
The 1987 agreement between the US and then the Soviet Union banned land-based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers in a bid to ease tensions created by quick-strike missiles capable of delivering a nuclear attack in between six and eight minutes.