US Air Force successfully tests ‘hypersonic weapon’

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Washington: The US Air Force said it had conducted a successful test of a hypersonic weapon, which flew at five times the speed of sound.

The test was conducted on Saturday off the coast of Southern California when a B-52 bomber released an Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), the Air Force said in a statement.

“Following separation from the aircraft, the ARRW’s booster ignited and burned for expected duration, achieving hypersonic speeds five times greater than the speed of sound,” it said.

“This was a major accomplishment by the ARRW team, for the weapons enterprise, and our Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Heath Collins, Air Force program executive officer for weapons, in an emailed statement. “The team’s tenacity, expertise, and commitment were key in overcoming the past year’s challenges to get us to the recent success. We are ready to build on what we’ve learned and continue moving hypersonics forward.”

The successful test comes amid a US military effort to develop several types of hypersonic weapons to match similar Chinese and Russian advancements. Hypersonic weapons are maneuverable in flight, making them difficult to intercept. Russia has reportedly used hypersonic weapons during its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

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