US kept hypersonic missile test quiet to avoid tensions with Russia - CNN

The Lockheed Martin Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) was launched from a B-52 bomber off the West Coast.

A B-52 STRATOFORTRESS prepares for refueling during a close-air-support mission. (photo credit: US AIR FORCE/SGT. LANCE CHEUNG/REUTERS)
A B-52 STRATOFORTRESS prepares for refueling during a close-air-support mission.
(photo credit: US AIR FORCE/SGT. LANCE CHEUNG/REUTERS)

The US conducted a successful hypersonic missile test in mid-March, but kept it under wraps in order to avoid escalating tensions with Russia, CNN reported on Tuesday.

The Lockheed Martin Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) was launched from a B-52 bomber off the West Coast, a defense official told CNN, flying above 65,000 feet and for over 300 miles. It is unclear exactly how fast the missile flew.

The HAWC missile tested by the US has no warhead and instead uses its kinetic energy to destroy a target. The test is the second successful test of a HAWC missile. The first was conducted last September, with the US Air Force testing the Raytheon HAWC, powered by a Northrop Grumman scramjet engine.

 A Russian Air Force MiG-31 fighter jet releases Kinzhal hypersonic missile during a drill in an unknown location in Russia, in this still image taken from video released February 19, 2022. (credit: RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) A Russian Air Force MiG-31 fighter jet releases Kinzhal hypersonic missile during a drill in an unknown location in Russia, in this still image taken from video released February 19, 2022. (credit: RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

The test was conducted as US President Joe Biden was preparing for a visit to NATO allies in Europe.

On Friday, the US canceled a test of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile in order to avoid an escalation in tensions with Russia.