US Air Force conducts hypersonic weapon test
The test was carried out on Saturday off the coast of Southern California.
The US Air Force announced on Monday that it had successfully tested a hypersonic missile that traveled at five times the speed of sound.
The test was carried out on Saturday off the coast of Southern California, when a B-52 bomber launched an Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), according to the Air Force.
"Following separation from the aircraft, the ARRW's booster ignited and burned for the expected duration, achieving hypersonic speeds five times greater than the speed of sound," it said.
The United States is not alone in developing hypersonic weapons, which are challenging to track and intercept due to their speed and mobility.
The recent years have witnessed an intense arms race to get hypersonic missiles, and with #NorthKorea joining the race, here's what you need to know about the air-breathing hypersonic weapon. pic.twitter.com/0jbXx5qP98— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) October 5, 2021
Earlier, the US successfully tested a hypersonic missile in mid-March but kept it quiet for two weeks to avoid escalating tensions with Russia as Joe Biden prepared to travel to Europe, CNN reported citing a defense official familiar with the matter.
The Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) was launched from a B-52 bomber off the west coast in the first successful test of the Lockheed Martin version of the system, according to the official.
The missile was accelerated to high speed by a booster engine, after which the air-breathing scramjet engine ignited and propelled the missile at hypersonic speeds of Mach 5 and higher, the official added.