US successfully test hypersonic missile as Biden pulls ahead in new arms race | World | News


Sources familiar with the efforts said today (Wednesday), the US Air Force successfully tested the Lockheed Martin hypersonic missile this week, days after a similar attempt failed. The test comes against a backdrop of growing concerns Russia and China have had more success developing their own hypersonic missiles.

Hypersonic weapons travel at several times the speed of sound, which in theory would make them very difficult to detect using conventional techniques.

On June 29, the US Department of Defense confirmed a flight test of a hypersonic missile system in Hawaii had ended in failure as a result of a problem which took place after ignition.

The test, undertaken at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, was meant to launch the Common Hypersonic Glide Body atop a two-stage missile booster.

The booster is specifically designed to launch the system and bring it to speeds exceeding of Mach 5.

At that point the glide body detaches and uses its speed to reach the target.

Putin has make frequent boasts about his country’s advanced hypersonic technology, last month bragging that Russia has missiles which “no other country has”.

In March, Russia’s defence ministry claimed its Khinzal hypersonic ballistic missile had destroyed a big underground arms depot in western Ukraine.

If accurate, it marked the first use in the Kinzhal, which translates to Dagger in English, with the missile probably launched from the air via a MiG-31 warplane.

At the time, James Acton, nuclear policy specialist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: “I don’t view it as that significant.

“I don’t know how much of an advantage Russia is getting from using hypersonic missiles.”

(More to follow)





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