The specific technology tested on Sunday is a part of what Esper referenced on August 2, hours after the US formally withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which governed the development of cruise missiles with ranges comparable to Sunday's test.
The U.S. military on Sunday flight-tested a ground-launched version of a cruise missile off the coast of California.
The missile "exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight", the release said.
The US launch also came weeks after a deadly explosion at a testing site in the far north of Russian Federation, which Western experts linked to Moscow's attempts to develop a nuclear-powered missile.
USA defense officials said that "data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense's development of future intermediate-range capabilities".
The United States has tested a new ground-based cruise missile that is capable covering 500 kilometers in range, less than three weeks after officially exiting an arms treaty that banned such systems, Defense News reported.
The United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 pact with Russian Federation on August 2 after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.
"It [would be] impossible to conduct research and development that doesn't lead to production and testing" in the 16 days between the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty and Sunday's test, Kosachev was quoted as saying by Interfax on Tuesday.
The new test comes shortly after the US withdrew from the 1987 INF Treaty on August 2. In it's 2020 budget request, the Pentagon asked for $96 million to continue research and begin testing ground-launched missiles that break the INF's previously restrictive bounds.
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"The question is, if now Russian Federation tests a new system in this range and we respond, that's how escalation starts", Bell says.
The administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin had likewise asserted the USA had violated the treaty, both in its deployment of missile shields into Eastern Europe and its development of advanced drones.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the test showed the United States was stoking a new arms race and confrontation, which would have a serious negative impact on regional and global security.
"We counsel the USA side to abandon their outdated concepts of a cold war mentality and zero sum games, and exercise restraint in developing weapons", Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing.
The INF banned all land-based missiles that could travel between 500 and 5,500 kilometres (310 and 3,400 miles), in an effort to abolish the class of nuclear arms that then most threatened Europe. The United States has obviously taken a course toward escalating military tensions.
"We will, obviously, do all that we can in the shortest possible time not to allow the U.S.to achieve superiority in these types of weapons", he told state media after the USA missile launch.
"If Russia had not violated the treaty and refused to return to compliance, the treaty would still be in force and we would not have conducted this test", Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Carver tells U.S. News.
Some experts believe the treaty's collapse could undermine other arms control agreements and speed an erosion of the global system created to block the spread of nuclear arms.
Many fear the end of the INF, which Washington accused Moscow of having violated in recent years, will lead to a new and risky nuclear arms race.