l’army American company announced on Tuesday that it has successfully rocket ship hypersonic. A technology in which China and Russia have taken the lead. The Darpa, scientific arm of the military Americansaid in a statement that the missile launched from an aircraft had traveled more than 300 nautical miles (550 km) at five times the speed of sound (at least 6,100 km/h) and reached an altitude of 20,000 m.
It was the second test of the hypersonic rocket HAWC (Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept) with aerobic propulsion, ie it uses the oxygen present in the atmosphere for its combustion. The previous test, in September, was conducted with a different launch vehicle, Darpa said.
A hypersonic glider in development
According to CNN, the trial was conducted in mid-March and kept secret until then to avoid escalation after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “This trial of Lockheed Martin’s HAWC demonstrated the success of a second design that allows our fighters to select the best weapons to dominate the battlefield,” said HAWC Program Director Andrew Knoedler.
The Pentagon is also developing a hypersonic glider called ARRW (pronounced Arrow), but the first full test failed in April 2020. Hypersonic missiles are designed to fly at high speeds and low altitudes and to change direction in flight and not follow a linear and predictable trajectory, which makes their interception more difficult.
China tested a hypersonic rocket orbiting Earth in August before descending to his target, which he missed only a few miles. Russia last month claimed it used hypersonic missiles in Ukraine twiceat a fuel depot in the south of the country and an underground missile and ammunition warehouse near Ivano-Frankivsk in the west.