The new missile began development in February and was first launched within 9 months, something that the Air Force is celebrating because the missile acquisition process typically takes 24 months.

Much of the focus in U.S. missile development has been on the Korean peninsula, and the American military has been staging its own tests in a seemingly coincidental tit-for-tat with North Korea, at least timing-wise. But yesterday’s test was likely for Russia’s benefit.

As the Washington Post points out, the last remaining nuclear weapons treaty between the U.S. and Russia, the New START Treaty, which was signed in 2010, is set to expire in February of 2021 and the Trump regime has shown no signs of wanting to renew it. But even if that treaty is renewed, the disintegration of the INF Treaty already makes the world less safe.


From the Post:

The Pentagon declined to reveal the maximum range of the missile tested. Last spring, when U.S. officials disclosed the testing plan, they said it would be roughly 3,000 kilometers to 4,000 kilometers (1,860 miles to 2,480 miles). That is sufficient to reach potential targets in parts of China from a base on Guam, for example. The Pentagon has made no basing decisions and has suggested that it will take at least a few years before such a missile would be ready for deployment.


But the U.S. military insists that the new missile makes Americans safer.

“The Western Range plays an integral role in testing new capabilities with our mission partners by providing the infrastructure, personnel and range assets needed to carry out efficient missile testing from conception to evaluation,” Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space Wing commander, said in a statement posted online.


“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.”