WASHINGTON - US defence contractor Lockheed Martin won more than $400 million to deliver parts and equipment for intermediate-range missile tests, the Pentagon said in a press release.

The contract award comes less than a week after the United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, effectively killing the pact that had underwritten 32 years of strategic stability and peace in Europe.

"Lockheed Martin Space, Littleton, Colorado, is awarded a maximum amount $405,770,000… contract for the design, development, build and integration of large diameter rocket motors, associated missile body flight articles, and related support equipment for Army Intermediate Range Conventional Prompt Strike Weapon System flight test demonstrations," the release said on Tuesday.

Russian and Chinese leaders have pointed out that Washington's decision to withdraw from the INF allows the US government to develop a new generation of mobile intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles to replace the Pershing IIs that were scrapped under the treaty. Such missiles could be deployed to threaten both Russia and China.