The US Air Force claims to have successfully tested a hypersonic weapon that flew at five times the speed of sound.
The test was carried out on Saturday off the coast of Southern California, when a B-52 bomber launched an Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), according to a statement issued by the Air Force on Monday.
“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 stated.
In mid-March, the US declared the successful test of a hypersonic missile, and the AUKUS alliance, which includes the UK and Australia, revealed plans to collaborate on the development of the high-speed weapons.
The United States and its allies are not alone in developing hypersonic weapons, which are challenging to detect and intercept due to their speed and maneuverability.
Since its invasion on February 24, Russia has launched hypersonic missiles at targets in Ukraine many times, including deploying a Kinzhal or “Dagger” hypersonic air-to-surface missile at the city of Odesa earlier this month.
The Kinzhal, according to Russia, travels at ten times the speed of sound.
However, the Pentagon, which is supplying Ukraine with weapons in its fight with Russia, stated that Moscow’s employment of hypersonic missiles against Kyiv did not alter the character of the conflict.
Russian troops have launched “several hypersonic missiles,” according to US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, but “other than the speed of the weapon – in terms of its effect on a given target – we are not seeing really significant or game-changing effects to date with the delivery of the small number of hypersonics that the Russians have used,” he said.
Chinese authorities have also been accused of testing hypersonic weapons by US military personnel, although the Chinese foreign ministry denied this in October.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES