The Air Force’s Hypersonic Scramjet Missile flawlessly passed its last test.

  • Weapons with a top speed of Mach 5 are known as hypersonic missiles.
  • A technological demonstration, the Hypersonic Airbreathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) missile was successfully tested and completed by the US Air Force.
  • The flight’s data will be used to guide the U.S. military’s next hypersonic operations.

Hypersonic flight is the way of the future in aviation. Even commercial aviation is exploring for methods to push planes over Mach 5 and beyond, and the U.S. Air Force is hard at work developing a next-generation hypersonic bomber. The world’s increasing (and horrifying) chorus of hypersonic weapons is the most urgent problem, though.

Fortunately, the Hypersonic Airbreathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) missile programme, which the Air Force describes as the most successful of its kind in American history, has completed a dramatic final test.

The missile system successfully attained Mach 5 flight and covered 300 nautical miles at 60,000 feet, according to an announcement made on Monday by the Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Even if the data don’t specify how long the missile maintained such hypersonic speeds, it’s still a remarkable accomplishment.

According to Walter Price, a USAF deputy on the HAWC programme, “last month’s flight provided an exclamation point to the most successful hypersonic airbreathing flight test programme in U.S. history.” The lessons from HAWC will undoubtedly improve future Air Force capability.

The HAWC, as its name implies, is a concept weapon that won’t be mounted on aircraft or bombers but rather serves as a base for developing upcoming hypersonic technology. In reality, the Air Force is already moving forward with two other missile systems, including the All-Up-Round AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Reaction Weapon, which successfully conducted its first launch in December from a B-52H Stratofortress off the coast of southern California.

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