US army tests hypersonic weapon

 

Ap
Friday 18 November 2011 17:00
Comments
The hypersonic weapon, which could look similar to this Falcon HTV-2, could strike anywhere in the world within 30 minutes of launch.
The hypersonic weapon, which could look similar to this Falcon HTV-2, could strike anywhere in the world within 30 minutes of launch.

The US army has conducted its first flight test of a new weapon capable of traveling five times the speed of sound.

The Army launched the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon from the military's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai at about 1:30 am.

The weapon's "glide vehicle" reached Kwajalein Atoll — some 2,300 miles away — in less than half an hour, said Lt. Col. Melinda Morgan, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

Earlier this year, the Congressional Research Service said in a report the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon is part of the military's program to develop "prompt global strike" weapons that would allow the US to strike targets anywhere in the world with conventional weapons in as little as an hour.

The Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, are developing a similar vehicle.

The Pentagon said the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, or AHW, vehicle is designed to fly long ranges within the earth's atmosphere at speeds that are at least five times the speed of sound.

The objective of Thursday's test was to collect data on technologies that boost the hypersonic vehicle and allow it to glide. The Army was also testing how the vehicle performed in long-range flight.

The Congressional Research Service report said the AHW would be able to maneuver to avoid flying over third party nations as it approached its target. The weapon would use a precision guidance system to home in on the target, it said.

AP

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in