Pentagon officials revealed back in March that they planned to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile some time in November, Military.com reported. During the Defense News Conference in September, Robert Soofer, deputy assistant secretary of defense for policy for nuclear and missile defense, hinted that the Pentagon was still planning to test a missile in the near future.
“I do believe it is still the plan to conduct a ballistic missile test before the end of the year," Soofer said at the time, Defense News reported.
However, when probed about Soofer’s statement, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Robert Carver said he could not “confirm or deny a test will take place in November.”
“I am unable to provide any details on testing dates, times or locations,” he added, Defense News reported.
If the test does take place, the ballistic missile is expected to have a range between 3,000 and 4,000 kilometers, according to Defense News.
The US formally withdrew from the INF Treaty on August 2, citing alleged Russian violations as an excuse, along with the reluctance of other countries, including China, to join the treaty, Sputnik reported.
According to the US, Russia had tested and deployed cruise missiles that exceeded 500 kilometers (310 miles) in range, which were banned under the INF Treaty. However, Russia has repeatedly denied such allegations. The US’ decision to leave the pact drew ire from Russia and other countries.
The Cold War-era treaty was signed by the US and Soviet Union in 1987, banning all short-medium-range (310-620 miles) and intermediate-range (620-3,420 miles) ground-launched missiles.