The US military said on Monday that it launched a cruise missile a day earlier in what is reported to be the first such test since Washington’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Footage shows the missile exiting its ground mobile launcher on San Nicolas Island, off the US West Coast.
The Pentagon said the conventional missile successfully hit its target after flying for more than 500 kilometres (311 miles).
The US formally pulled out of the INF treaty on August 2 after accusing Russia of violating the agreement for years. Moscow denied the allegations. The deal that was signed in 1987 had limited the development of ground-launched missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (3,418 miles). Sunday’s launch would therefore have been prohibited under the now defunct INF treaty.