Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A ground-launched cruise missile was successfully fired in a test, the Defense Department announced on Monday.
The test, from San Nicolas Island, Calif., would not have been permitted under the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987 and abandoned on Aug. 2.
"The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target" over 310 miles away, the Pentagon said in a statement which did not mention which branches of the military service were involved.
Officials said the missile is designed to carry a conventional, and not a nuclear, warhead.
Imagery from the test depicts the missile launching from a Mark 41 Vertical Launch System, the same launcher used in the Aegis Ashore missile defense system.
Russia has called the presence of Mark 41 launchers in Europe as a violation of the treaty, presuming that the Aegis Ashore systems currently installed in Poland and Romania could be converted to offensive systems.
The United States withdrew from the landmark treaty, which was in part responsible for ending the Cold War. It limited development of short-range, ground-based missiles. The decision to leave comes after the United States repeatedly said Russia was violating the treaty with deployment of its nuclear-capable SSC-8 missile. Moscow has denied the accusations.
"Yes, I would like to," he said. "I would prefer [in] months. I just don't have the latest state of play on timelines for either a cruise missile or long-range missile, but these things tend to take longer than you expect," he added.