Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW)_311.
(photo credit: Wiki Commons)
The Pentagon on Thursday successfully conducted the first test flight of the
Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW), a “glide vehicle” that will allow the US to
strike a target anywhere in the world within an hour, according to AFP.
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Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command launched
the vehicle from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, at 1:30
a.m. to the Reagan Test Site at the Kwajalein Atoll.
The vehicle glided
at least 4,000 km. to the atoll, with the goal of testing “navigation, guidance,
and control” according to Pentagon spokeswoman Lt.-Col. Melinda F. Morgan. It
was powered by a three-stage hypersonic booster system. Scientists classify
hypersonic speeds as those at Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound) or
The Pentagon developed AHW as part of the Conventional Prompt
Global Strike program, which the US said it would use to “precisely strike
time-sensitive, high-value targets,” according to the State Department. The US
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has conducted research on a similar
hypersonic weapon, the HTV-2.