U.S. Defense Department conducts first flight test of land-based cruise missile

Photo by Scott Howe

Pentagon announced that on Sunday was conducted the first flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile.

“On Aug. 18, at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, the Defense Department conducted a flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, Calif,” said in the announcement.

The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight.

“Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform DOD’s development of future intermediate-range capabilities,” said in the DoD.

Officials stressed that the missile is designed to carry a conventional and not a nuclear payload.

Some military experts said that new missile is a Tomahawk that launched from the standardized vertical-launch cells used in the Aegis Ashore system.

A vertical launching system (VLS) is an advanced system for holding and firing missiles on mobile naval platforms, such as surface ships and submarines. Each vertical launch system consists of a number of cells, which can hold one or more missiles ready for firing. Typically, each cell can hold a number of different types of missiles.

The United States formally withdrew from a landmark 1987 nuclear missile pact with Russia earlier this month after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.

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