The Pentagon said it has tested a weapon five times the speed of sound while China and Russia are developing similar military and defense capabilities.
After being transported to the sky by a missile at an altitude of 40 to 100 km, a vehicle flying at a super-fast speed five times the speed of sound is separated along the upper atmosphere towards its target.
These high-speed vehicles can walk in an unexpected path and make difficult maneuvers as they approach the target, and they also follow a more flat and lower track than the arched high track of a ballistic missile.
The Pentagon said – in a statement – that the Navy and the Army jointly executed the launch of the vehicle, which “flew at speeds five times the speed of sound to a specific hit point”, in an experiment conducted from the Kwai Center in Hawaii on Thursday.
The statement added that the Pentagon’s missile defense agency monitored and collected track data from the launch experience to benefit from the ongoing development of systems designed to defend against enemy weapons flying at similar super speed.
Called “hypersonic” missiles, they travel more quickly than existing ballistic missiles with nuclear capabilities and from cruise missiles. It can reach various heights and is easy to operate, which makes it difficult to deal with existing anti-missile systems.