WASHINGTON – After several setbacks with ARRW, another hypersonic weapons project was eventually “fired” in the United States, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
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The U.S. Advanced Defense Research Projects Agency [DARPA], in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force, last week completed flight tests of its Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept [HAWC].
During the tests, the missile was launched by a fighter. A few seconds after launch, its direct-flow air-jet engine from Northrop Grumman started. In the end, the rocket was able to reach a speed of Mach 5 which is five times the speed of sound.
In 2019, Raytheon teamed up with Northrop Grumman to develop and manufacture hypersonic weapons engines. The direct current engine technology uses a high-speed vehicle to force compression of the incoming air before combustion to ensure a stable flight at hypersonic speeds. In the future, this missile will be equipped with various types of fighters, including the F-35 stealth fighter.
“HAWC weapons work best in an oxygen-rich atmosphere, where speed and maneuverability make it difficult to detect in time. Such weapons can hit targets much faster than subsonic missiles, and have significant kinetic energy even without high-explosive explosives,” DARPA said in a statement.
These tests were the first successful test of this class of weapons since 2013, according to the Pentagon. Hypersonic weapons developers in the United States have successfully tested hypersonic weapons at low altitudes and small dimensions.
And this shows that in the unofficial confrontation in the development of hypersonic weapons with China and Russia, the United States – after a series of failures with another ARRW missile – still managed to take an important step forward.
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