The USA is pushing the pace: In California there is a test with a hypersonic weapon that is supposed to fly at five times the speed of sound and at the same time allow precise hits. The weapon should be ready for combat use as soon as possible.
The US has tested a new hypersonic weapon that is said to fly at five times the speed of sound and enable precise attacks. The test of the AGM-183A Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) airborne weapon took place off the American west coast in southern California, according to the US Air Force. "We are doing everything we can to get this groundbreaking weapon ready for combat use as soon as possible," the statement said.
The Air Force has had trouble testing the AGM-183A ARRW in the past, and the program suffered three flight test failures prior to this recent success, CNN writes. Last month, the Air Force said anomalies in flight testing had pushed back the weapon's completion schedule.
The new weapon should now quickly enable the armed forces to hold their own positions in contested areas from afar. The US Air Force announced that it would also expand the capabilities for precision strikes. A Boeing B-52H long-range bomber launched the hypersonic weapon last Saturday and then deployed it. The Air Force spoke of a test that "made history".
According to its own statements, Russia has already used the hypersonic missile "Kinshal" several times in the course of its war of aggression against Ukraine. The eight meter long rockets can fly extremely fast and high while remaining manoeuvrable. They are therefore very difficult to intercept. The broadcaster CNN reported in early April that the United States had already tested a hypersonic missile in March. However, this was not made public because of the conflict with Russia, according to the US broadcaster, citing an unnamed government official.
According to the CNN report, the US test is said to have taken place a few days after the "Kinzhal" was first used in Ukraine. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said after the Russian mission that "Kinzhal" was not a decisive turning point in the course of the war.
Hypersonic refers to speeds above five times the speed of sound. Like ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles can potentially carry nuclear weapons. China had already tested a hypersonic missile in August 2021.