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US Army tests advanced hypersonic weapon

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Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2). Photo: DARPA

WASHINGTON (BNS): The US Army has successfully carried out the first test flight of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) designed to fly within the earth's atmosphere at hypersonic speed and long range.

The hypersonic glide vehicle was launched on Thursday from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, at 6:30 a.m. EST to the Reagan Test Site, US Army Kwajalein Atoll, the US Department of Defence said in a statement.

A three-stage booster system launched the AHW and successfully deployed it on the desired flight trajectory. The vehicle flew a non-ballistic glide trajectory at hypersonic speed to the planned impact location at the Reagan Test Site, it said.

Space, air, sea, and ground platforms collected vehicle performance data which will be used by the DoD to model and develop future hypersonic boost-glide capabilities.

The Department of Defence is using AHW to develop and demonstrate technologies for Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS). As part of the CPGS effort, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency conducted boost-glide flight tests in April 2010 and August 2011, results from which were used in planning the AHW flight test.

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