The US Army conducted a test flight of a new long-range precision missile that exceeded the maximum threshold, Lockheed Martin said on Thursday.
“Lockheed Martin’s Precision Strike Missile completed its longest flight to date, exceeding the 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 the 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.
According to Lockheed Martin, the maximum range of the missile is 499 kilometers and the latest flight test surpasses the range agreed to between the United States and Russia in the now-suspended Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
In 2019, the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew the United States from the 1987 INF Treaty, which committed it and the other signatory, Russia, to getting rid of all nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,417 miles).
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov and US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland did not discuss the INF Treaty during the Nuland’s visit to Moscow earlier this week.