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Test of new US hypersonic missile reportedly successful

Artist concept of HAWC missile. Courtesy DARPA

With Vladimir Putin airing threatening cartoons depicting Russian missiles targeting a disheveled supper club in south Florida, the US military announced the successful test of one of its latest hypersonic missiles Monday, saying the system reached Mach 5 and traveled 300 miles, hitting an altitude exceeding 60,000 feet, according to Popular Mechanics.

The Hypersonic Airbreathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) is one of three hypersonic missile projects in the works at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), corroborating with the US Air Force Research Lab.  First flown in 2021 and designed to be dropped from a B-52 bomber, HAWC is essentially a proof-of-concept program testing a scramjet-powered missile design for future modification before deployment.

The news of the test comes nearly a month after Putin announced the deployment of one of Russia’s own hypersonic missile, the Zircon, on a navy frigate sailing in the Atlantic.  Previously, Russia has claimed to use the Kinzhal hypersonic missile in Ukraine and said its hypersonic glide vehicle called the Avangard was ready for combat operations in 2019.

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