Russia Informed of Imminent US Missile Test
Russia's military confirmed on Thursday that it has been informed by the Pentagon of an imminent US test of its national missile defense system.
Russian military officials told ITAR-TASS that a US attempt to intercept a dummy Minuteman-2 warhead would be conducted early Friday morning Moscow time.
US officials in Washington had earlier said the test could be conducted "as early as this weekend."
The test involves an attempted interception of a dummy warhead over the Pacific by a US interceptor missile fired from Kwajalein Island in the Marshall Islands.
Pentagon officials stressed that the test complied with the limits of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty that bars the United States from developing a broad missile defense shield, whose construction is opposed by Moscow.
US President George W. Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin failed to bridge their differences over missile defense during a summit earlier this month.
Last month, the Pentagon said it had called off two missile defense tests because of plans to use a ship-borne Aegis radar to track the missiles would have collided with ABM restrictions.
The upcoming test, which originally had been scheduled for October, will be the fifth attempt to hit a simulated warhead from an intercontinental missile with another missile.
Only two previous attempts have succeeded, including the most recent test on July 14 – Moscow (AFP)
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