Four long-range missiles launched in war games
Russian strategic forces carried out a large-scale surprise military drill on Wednesday, launching four nuclear missiles that were closely monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies, U.S. officials said.
The drill began around 9:00 am ET and included the test launch of two land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and two submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
The test firings were unusual because of the number of missiles fired at one time, said officials who discussed some details of the drill on condition of anonymity.
State Department spokeswoman Alexandra F. Bell confirmed the tests and said the long-range missile firings were “conducted consistent with the requirements of the New START Treaty.”
At the Pentagon, spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith said: ”With regard to Russia’s recent testing of its strategic forces missiles, the United States received the proper notifications prior to the launches.”
Other officials said the tests were notified in advance to the U.S. government as required by a 1988 U.S.-Soviet agreement requiring advance notification of ICBM and SLBM launches. The agreement requires notifying the Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, run by the Pentagon, of the impending launches within four days of their launch.
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