The admission was made by US Strategic Command deputy commander Vice Admiral Dave Kriete, who told Russian News Agency Tass that Washington doesn’t intend to “keep up” with Russia. He said: “Russia continues to develop nuclear weapons that the United States does not possess.” “Our goal isn’t to keep up with Russia and engage in an arms race [but to engage] in proper deterrence.”
However, he did tell reporters that the US had tested a weapon that would have been banned under INF treaty that the US officially withdrew from in August.
The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) signed between Washington and the Soviet Union barred the use of the two nations’ land-based ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and missile launchers with that could hit targets from intermediate range, set at distances between 500km range and 5,500km range depending on the type of system.
The treaty was abandoned officially by the US in August. President Donald Trump announced in October 2018 that he wanted to pull American out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), accusing Moscow of violating the terms of the nuclear arms agreement.
But the Kremlin has rejected the accusations, stressing that the scrapping of the INF treaty would force Russia to take measures to ensure its security.
Now both countries are testing missiles systems which would have previously been banned under the 1987 agreement.
If the US’ reports are true, this would mean that Washington gas undertaken two tests of previously banned missiles since the breakdown of the treaty.
Russia is reportedly planning to test the monstrous Tsirkon nuclear missile before the end of the year.
An unnamed source told the state-run TASS news agency the test would take place at a naval range, marking another worrying twist as Russian war games and military exercises continue.
The source said: “A Tsirkon missile is expected to be launched from the White Sea before the end of the year. The specific date will be set as soon as the technical equipment is ready.”
While some details surrounding the weapon are subject to speculation among experts, President Putin confirmed that the missile was under development and also shared some chilling details about its capabilities.
Putin said in February: “This is a hypersonic missile called Tsirkon. It will have the speed of mach 9, it has a range of 1,000 km (620 miles) and can hit navy or land targets.”
The Russian President also sent a defiant message to the US, claiming Russia will always try to match Washington’s military developments.
Mr Putin added: “The US once sought global domination through its missiles program. They should abandon illusions, we will always respond with a reciprocal response.”