The U.S. government will begin initial production for ground-launched cruise missile components after announcing its intent to revoke participation from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Reuters reported Monday. The INF Treaty requires participating countries to destroy ground-based ballistic and cruise missile systems with range capabilities of up to 310.6 to 3,000 miles.
“We will commence fabrication activities on components to support developmental testing of these systems – activities that until Feb. 2 would have been inconsistent with our obligations under the Treaty,” said Michelle Baldanza, spokeswoman at the Department of Defense.
The planned withdrawal follows Russia's alleged violation of the treaty through its Novator 9M729 missile. The United Nations urged both countries to maintain the treaty to prevent potential instability.