‘Drones – Reusable’, Aegis – Purely Defensive: US Reacts to INF Violation Claims

US

Following Washington’s calls for the destruction of Russia’s 9M729 missiles that allegedly violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Moscow suggested that the US should also consider eliminating ground-based Mk-41 launchers, ballistic target missiles and armed UAVs, which Russia sees as INF violations.

On February 8, the US mission to NATO published an official response to Russia’s accusations of INF Treaty violations by Washington, where it explained why the US doesn’t see the armaments in question as infringing on the missile accord.

 Russia Proposes That US Destroy Tomahawk Missile Launchers Falling Under INF

Washington claims that the modified ground-based version of the Mk-41 launcher, initially fitted for ships and launches of Tomahawk cruise missiles (effective range up to 2,500 kilometres), called Aegis Ashore, doesn’t violate the INF Treaty. According to the US, although Aegis Ashore is based on the ship-based Mk-41 design, it doesn’t have capability of launching Tomahawks and is only fitted for launching defensive SM-3 interceptor missiles.

“The system lacks the software, fire control hardware, support equipment, and other infrastructure needed to launch offensive ballistic or cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk”, the statement reads.

It’s unclear how long it takes to make upgrades to Aegis Ashore in order for its capabilities to be similar to those of the ship-based…

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