The HAWC rocket has reached a speed five times faster than the speed of sound.
The Pentagon conducted a successful flight test of its hypersonic missile last week, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)of the Ministry of Defense (DARPA) reported.
The report says that the rocket, created by Raytheon Technologies, was launched from an airplane.
A few seconds after the reset, its jet engine manufactured by Northrop Grumman turned on, which accelerated the rocket to a speed above Mach 5, that is, five times the speed of sound.
A hypersonic missile works best in an oxygen-rich atmosphere, where, due to its speed and maneuverability, it isn’t easy to detect it on time.
It can hit targets much faster than subsonic missiles and has significant kinetic energy even without the use of powerful explosives.
“The free-flight test of the HAWC missile was a successful demonstration of the capabilities that will make hypersonic cruise missiles a highly effective tool of our armed forces,” said Andrew Knoedler, head of the HAWC program in the office of Tactical Technologies.
The report says that all the main goals of the tests were achieved.
“The successful free-flight test of the HAWC rocket was the culmination of a successful long-term partnership between the government and the industry when a single, purposeful team achieved an extremely difficult goal thanks to active cooperation,” Knoedler added. – This historic flight would not have been possible without the dedication of industry workers, the U.S. Air Force, and the Navy involved in flight tests, which worked a miracle despite the pandemic.”
DARPA said that the flight test data would be considered when approving the system design and production approaches, allowing hypersonic missiles into service soon.
Hypersonic missiles fly in the upper atmosphere at speeds more than five times the speed of sound or about 6,200 kilometers per hour.
“The Department of Defense has named hypersonic weapons and anti–hypersonic weapons as the highest technical priorities for the security of our country,” said Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon’s missile and Defense division.
“The United States and our allies must be able to deter the use of these weapons and have the means to defeat them,” he said.