The US military plans to deploy ground-based intermediate-range missiles in the Indo-Pacific in 2024, a US official told Nikkei, establishing its first arsenal in the region since the end of the Cold War to enhance deterrence against China, Report informs.

Rob Phillips, a spokesperson for US 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 US 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.