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Pentagon Successfully Tests Hypersonic Missiles


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A recent press release from the Pentagon indicates that the U.S. military is one step closer to a viable hypersonic missile following several successful tests.

The Raytheon-manufactured weapon ‘breathes’ in the air to achieve sustained propulsion and has been clocked flying at five times the speed of sound, with altitudes approaching 60,000 feet.

This most recent trial will mark the 3rd test of the new missile design.

With two rivals already far ahead of the U.S. in terms of hypersonic weapon development, DARPA and the Department of Defense are scrambling to put the U.S. inventory on equal footing.

Russia already boasts hypersonic missiles in its inventory and China is reportedly focused on building heat-seeking hypersonic missiles that feature high-precision capabilities.

Sources claim that China is attempting to build hypersonic weapons that can strike at cars and other smaller targets.

Here is what we currently know:

The Hill explains:

In its release, DARPA said the scramjet engine propelled the weapon to speeds greater than five times the speed of sound for 300 nautical miles and reached altitudes higher than 60,000 feet.

 

Additionally, The Associated Press reports that defense officials are also developing hypersonic tracking satellites:

“Russia and China have been developing and testing hypersonic glide vehicles — these advanced missiles that are extremely maneuverable,” Tournear told Pentagon reporters Monday.

“These satellites are specifically designed to go after that next generation version of threats out there so that we can detect and track these hypersonic maneuvering vehicles and predict their impact point.”


 

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