US successfully tests Raytheon hypersonic weapon, Pentagon says
The United States has successfully tested a Raytheon hypersonic weapon – an air-breathing hypersonic weapon capable of reaching speeds of more than five times the speed of sound, according to a Pentagon announcement on Monday.
The mission, which resulted in the first successful test of this type of cruise missile since 2013, was carried out by the US Air Force, in partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The Hypersonic Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) free flight test took place last week and demonstrated the weapon to have “very effective” capabilities, DARPA program director Andrew Knoedler said in a statement.
Mr. Knoedler added: “HAWC’s successful free flight test is the culmination of years of fruitful partnership between government and industry, where a single motivated team achieved an extremely ambitious goal through intense collaboration. ”
He added: “This historic flight would not have been possible without the dedication of flight test personnel from industry, the US Air Force and the Navy who persevered during the pandemic to make the magic happen. . “
The mission was to test, among other aspects, the safe separation of the launch plane, the ignition of the booster and the ignition of the engine. According to a press release from DARPA, all of the main test goals were met.
Built by Raytheon Technologies, the HAWC missile engine propelled the cruiser to speeds above Mach 5 – five times the speed of sound.
The press release details: “The HAWC vehicle performs best in an oxygen-rich atmosphere, where speed and handling make it difficult to detect in a timely manner. It could hit targets much faster than subsonic missiles and has significant kinetic energy even without high explosives. “
Mr. Knoedler added: “The HAWC free flight test has been a successful demonstration of the capabilities that will make hypersonic cruise missiles a very effective tool for our fighters. This brings us one step closer to HAWC’s transition to a record breaking program that delivers next generation capability to the US military. “