U.S. to deploy new ground-based missiles to Indo-Pacific in 2024
Baku, December 4, AZERTAC
The U.S. military plans to deploy ground-based intermediate-range missiles in the Indo-Pacific in 2024, a U.S. official told Nikkei, establishing its first arsenal in the region since the end of the Cold War to enhance deterrence against China.
Rob Phillips, a spokesperson for U.S. Army Pacific, outlined the plan to Nikkei. Options being considered include land-based versions of the Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) and the Tomahawk cruise missile. Ranges of the missiles are believed to be between 500 and 2,700 kilometers.
The deployment is the first since the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty, expired in 2019. The pact, signed with the Soviet Union in 1987, had banned the countries from developing and possessing land-based missiles with ranges of 500 km to 5,500 km.
China continued to expand its arsenal of medium and intermediate-range missiles while the U.S. was bound by the INF Treaty. Beijing is now estimated to possess 1,500 missiles with a range of 1,000 km to 5,500 km, according to the Pentagon's annual report on China's military power.
Phillips did not provide details on where and when the American missiles might be deployed.