• On Tuesday, the US military announced the success of its second test of a hpersonic missile.

  • This hypersonic HAWC missile (Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept) with aerobic propulsion uses the oxygen present in the atmosphere for its combustion.

  • China and Russia have taken the lead on this technology.

The US military announced on Tuesday that it had successfully tested a hypersonic missile for the second time.

A technology on which China and Russia have taken the lead.

Darpa, the scientific arm of the American army, specified in a press release 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 reaches an altitude of 20,000 m.

It was about the second test of hypersonic missile 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 launcher, said Darpa.

DARPA and @usairforce flew a @LockheedMartin hypersonic cruise missile, with @AerojetRdyne engine, at speeds faster than Mach 5 for an extended time.

The 2nd successful HAWC program flight adds a new vehicle configuration to military transition options.

https://t.co/5RZ6wPyWgj pic.twitter.com/Byly6snoF2

— DARPA (@DARPA) April 5, 2022


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A hypersonic glider under development

According to CNN, the trial was conducted in mid-March and kept secret until then to avoid any escalation after Russia invaded Ukraine.

“This trial of Lockheed Martin's HAWC demonstrated the success of a second design that will allow our fighters to select the best weaponry to dominate the battlefield,” commented HAWC program director Andrew Knoedler.

The Pentagon is also developing a hypersonic glider called ARRW (pronounced Arrow), but its first full-scale test failed in April 2020. Hypersonic missiles are designed to fly at high speeds and low altitudes, and to change direction. direction in flight and not following a linear and predictable trajectory, which makes their interception more difficult.

China tested a hypersonic missile in August that circled the Earth in orbit before descending to its target, which it only missed by a few miles.

Russia last month claimed it had used hypersonic missiles twice in Ukraine, at a fuel depot in the south of the country and an underground missile and ammunition warehouse near Ivano-Frankivsk in the west.

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