Pentagon Tests Previously Banned Cruise Missile

Test meant to inform more advanced development of missiles

On Sunday, the Pentagon tested a conventionally-configured (i.e. non-nuclear) cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California. The missile flew over 500 km and officials described it as accurately impacting.

A ground-launched cruise missile of that range would’ve been flat out illegal under the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987, which the US formally withdrew from on August 2.

The Pentagon says they intend for this test, apparently of an old missile they had lying around, is meant to “inform” the future development of missiles that would also violate the INF.

The Pentagon intends to spend massive on intermediate-range missiles, though so far it isn’t entirely clear where they will be positioned.. Defense Secretary Mark Esper wants to position the missiles across Asia.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of