Pentagon: Russia Violated Treaty with Recent Missile Test

(Wikipedia photo)

A top U.S. Defense Department official said Russia violated a landmark nuclear treaty with the recent test of a new surface-to-air missile.

Russia on Sept. 2 tested a new cruise missile that the Pentagon is calling the SSC-X-8, which may be based on the SS-N-30A Kalibr, according to an article on the conservative website The Washington Free Beacon. The latter is a variant of the SS-N-27B (shown above).

The 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, treaty signed by the U.S. and the then-Soviet Union bans nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 300 miles to 3,400 miles.

While Russia’s new missile reportedly didn’t fly beyond 300 miles, the test nevertheless violated the terms of the INF, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said on Tuesday during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The acknowledgment came during a back-and-forth between Work and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican from New Hampshire, who asked him about news reports of the test during a cybersecurity hearing.

“This is a long-standing issue that we have been discussing with the Russians,” Work said. “The system that you’re talking about is in development. It has not been fielded yet. We have had different discussions with them on our perception of the violation of the INF and they have come back. This is still in discussions and we have not decided on any particular action at this point.”

Ayotte then asked, “Are you saying you don’t think they violated the INF treaty?”

Work replied, “We believe very strongly that they did.”

Ayotte said, “That’s what I thought. So what are we going to do about it?”

Work again said the Russians haven’t fielded the system and are thus still negotiating their position. If they move forward with such a deployment, he said, the U.S. will retaliate by  taking one of actions involving missile defense, counter force or countervailing measure, as outlined by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • blight_asdfljk

    Well, there is suspicion that the Iskander is actually in violation of INF, so this wouldn’t surprise me. Guess it’s time to do away with INF. It’s sad to see all the treaties between Gorbachev and Reagan get tossed out so idly, but so long as nuke limits remain enforced the world should be reasonably safe. If those get tossed out too we’ll be in big trouble.

    • Joe Sovereign

      Putin knows Obama is a joke. We won’t do anything about it. Bob Work will probably get fired for admitting we are being humiliated again by our enemies.

  • blight_asdfljk

    The Iskander is also a suspicious item. A lot of the late Cold War arms control things seem to be on the chopping block lately.

  • Lance

    SO!!!!! With the whimp in the White House no one out side of the USA cares about defying US treaty’s. When you have no back bone no one listens to you.

  • Bronco46

    This is an obvious escalation. And nothing will be done by this administration.

  • Lightingguy

    OK in a wing nut perfect world, the WH would what ?, repudiate the INF ?. What happens then, a new nuclear arms race in Europe ?. We put back our cruise missiles (The BGM-109’s are gone), so a new program and money to LockMart for a new cruise missile. Then we have to bring back the Pershing II or something like it, and that weapon was a very worrisome missile for the Russians as it had a 10 minute flight time to Moscow and could take out hardened targets. So is that a good idea and more importantly, would ANY of our NATO allies support this ?, umm… NOPE. So somebody else come up with a brilliant suggestion for that wimp in the WH to deal with this.

  • guest

    Well should we do nuke em. Putin violated treaty’s ever since he invaded Georgia & Crimea. No one should be surprised. Or the rejection of butt kissing by him at the UN meeting in NY.

    • Guest

      2008 Georgia Russia Conflict Fast Facts http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/13/world/europe/2008-g…
      September 2009 - A report from an EU fact-finding mission determines that the 2008 conflict was caused by Georgia’s illegal attack on the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali on August 7-8.

  • Al_K

    “treaty signed by the U.S. and the then-Soviet Union
    so it has nothing to do with Russia. Make a new agreement and then feel free to cry!

  • Glen

    Putin::I think there is no respect in Putin after talking for 1/12 Hours last week, this President is done and should not be making any more policy. They need to leave that too our new president coming into office, the next one will not be so stupid.

  • gtv

    US is the one (only one) that brakes treats.

  • XbobbyX

    If I remember correctly, the 1987 INF treaty was signed between the Soviet Union and the United States, not Russia and the United States. The country no longer exists so the treaty is void. You don’t inherit treaties.

  • Nate

    US is acting irresponsibly - they are surrounding Russians with missile sites, conducting military parades and exercises right on Russian borders, overthrown gov’ts in Russia’s near abroad — and they expect Russians to sit back and do nothing about it?
    Tearing up ABM treaty and expanding NATO and military bases to Russia’s borders has domino effect. You think Ukraine and Crimea is bad? Wait until Russians feel trapped and start being ever more aggressive. Don’t corner anyone or they will have nothing to lose and fight back viciously

  • Beef Stick

    This is small potatoes compared to the clusterphuck in Syria.. There will be missile lock-on in Syria.

  • Ksikkihkini

    Who gives a fork! Obama violates the Constitution that we all swore to uphold everyday, I don’t hear any of you complaining about that!

    • Lightingguy

      Dreaming.

      If BO had violated the Constitution and/or violated any laws, the ‘Pubs in Congress would have been all over his butt and probably would have drawn up impeachment charges. They haven’t as he’s done nothing illegal nor against the Constitution.

      You may not like his moves or executive orders, but I didn’t like Dubya’s, so we’re even.

  • Dfens

    Russia violated a treaty? Who could have possibly seen that coming?

  • BobSacamano

    With America’s current leadership, Russia could be building bases on American soil and there’d be puzzlement, wondering what the fuss was about!

  • bart ninja

    have we not violated our agreements with regards to star wars?

  • superraptor

    This is not that hard to figure out. We simply requip the USN with tactical nuclear missiles. Tactical nuclear cruise missiles on submarines and surface ships and tactical nuclear SM-3s with surface-to-surface capability would be a great deterrent and it would not be that expensive. We could field 2000 nuclear tomahawk cruise missiles for about 5 billion USD. That is half the yearly budget of the F-35. We still have engineers who know how to build nuclear warheads.
    The GOP could propose it, but they are just as spineless as Obama

    • blight_asdfljk

      Nuclear tomahawks are intended for land targets, and inevitably those land targets are easily struck with conventional explosives. The ones that need to be nuked are few and far between (and perhaps best served with a B-61)

  • sam

    Barry O will just ignore it and hope it goes away like everything else he does.

  • C-Low

    The death of INF may actually work to our benefit.

    It will add another dimension to the threat to Europe from Russia but will not do much to alter the balance. May actually even push western europe to invest more in supporting the East and their own defense.

    However it will be a big deal in PACOM were our allies who by association and US by treaty are restricted. Japan, Taiwan, US all could greatly benefit from some conventional IRBM like what China has built in mass.

  • blight_asdf

    The CFE is probably the treaty to worry about. It governs force composition for NATO/Warsaw Pact. What seems to have escaped notice is that the Russians are not happy about CFE and may pull out entirely.

    However at this point the treaties have done their job. They created a relatively non-violent transition for the USSR into the Russian Federation. We didn’t get annihilated on the eve of the breakup of the Soviet Union. And until someone amenable to negotiation (as Gorbachev was) is in charge of the Kremlin we will never be able to really talk to, and negotiate with the Russians.

  • PershingGuard

    Bring the Pershing uv off the drawing board and onto launchers.

  • Wojo84

    “If they move forward with such a deployment, he said, the U.S. will retaliate by taking one of actions involving missile defense, counter force or countervailing measure, as outlined by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.”

    I’m sure the Russians are quaking in their shoes right about now.

  • virgil cuttaway

    Obummer and his people have no backbone. Putin can do what he wants to do.