Prototype Missile Launched from Vandenberg AFB by Defense Department

A prototype ground-launched ballistic missile launches Thursday from Vandenberg Air Force Base

A prototype ground-launched ballistic missile launches Thursday from Vandenberg Air Force Base

The US Department of Defense says it has test-fired a ground-launched intermediate-range ballistic missile from a base in the western state of California.

The test missile lifted off from its launch stand at 8:30 a.m. and landed in the open ocean after an approximate 310-mile flight, according to a prepared statement provided to The Tribune by a Vandenberg spokesperson. Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Robert Carver told Defense One that "data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense's development of future intermediate-range capabilities".

Arms experts warned of negative global implications after the Pentagon on Thursday test-launched a second missile that would have been banned under a Cold War-era treaty that U.S. President Donald Trump ditched in early August. Windows rattled around 8:30 a.m. but haven't seen an official alert from VAFB.

Asked whether Russian Federation had any information on the kind of missile tested or its capabilities, he replied, "I'm not in the position to make any comments from the technical standpoint [on] the missile's parameters and characteristics".

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Arms control advocates like Kingston Reif with Arms Control Association are critical of developing ground-launched intermediate-range missiles.

However, he did tell Defense News that Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems was "the primary launch services contractor behind the execution of the mission".

"The National Defense Strategy provides very clear direction to restore our competitive edge in the reemergence of great power competition, and we owe it to our nation to rapidly evolve and develop our capacity to defend". "Our airmen should be extremely proud of their contributions to their country today".

"We have repeatedly stated that the United States has always been preparing to violate the provisions of the INF treaty".

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According to Russia's state-owned news agency TASS, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Friday: "We've said a couple of times that the United States has been making preparations for violating the INF Treaty". The process typically takes 24 months.

The Kremlin on Friday criticized the latest US missile test, accusing Washington of preparing to violate the INF treaty in advance.

U.S. Strategic Command deputy commander Vice Adm. Dave Kriete spoke to reporters as the U.S. tested a missile that would have been banned under a bilateral treaty it withdrew from this year. He said such launches usually require several years to plan and execute, and congratulated the team for their quick work.

Kriete, when asked about another major nuclear arms control treaty between Russian Federation and the U.S. under question, said the Strategic Command was advising the U.S. State Department on the military threats.

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