US Tests INF-range Ballistic Missile

On December 12, the U.S. Air Force flight tested a conventionally-armed INF-range ballistic missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. According to a Department of Defense statement, the missile flew over 500 km before landing in the Pacific Ocean and was launched to “inform the Department of Defense’s development of future intermediate-range capabilities.” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper further clarified that the test was prepared in under nine months, with work beginning after the United States announced plans to withdraw from the INF Treaty in February 2019.