US successfully tests Mach 5 hypersonic missile

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Capable of traveling more than five times the speed of sound, new generations of missile systems are being designed for speed, stealth, and surprise.

According to Reuters and AFP, the United States tested an advanced hypersonic missile system last week that will “offer next-generation capability” to the US military, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) said on Monday. The test flight comes just a few months after Russia tested a similar missile.

The US missile system, called a “Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept” (HAWC), a co-development of DARPA and the U.S. Air Force, successfully separated from the launching plane, presumably a B-52 and, a few seconds later, fired its scramjet engine and accelerated to a cruising speed faster than Mach 5.

The US missile system was developed by the aerospace and defense giants Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman. The test was the first of this weapon’s class since 2013, the Pentagon said.