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" which will
allow the US to strike a target anywhere in the world within an hour,
according to AFP.
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The US 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. local time
to the Reagan Test Site at the Kwajalein Atoll.
The vehicle glided at least 4,000 kilometers to the Pacific atoll, with
the goal of testing "navigation, guidance, and control" according to
Pentagon spokesperson 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 above.
The Pentagon developed AHW as part of the Conventional Prompt Global
Strike (CPGS) program, which the US said it would use to "precisely
strike time-sensitive, high value targets," according to the US State
The US Defense Afvanced Research Projects Agenct (DARPA) has conducted research on a similar hypersonic weapon, the HTV-2.
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