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October 22, 2021

US conduct three tests as part of hypersonic flight campaign

The tests were executed by Sandia National Laboratories from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

The US Navy Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) and the Army Hypersonic Program Office (AHPO) has successfully carried out a High Operational Tempo for its hypersonic flight campaign.

The three tests to advance hypersonic weapon programmes were conducted on 20 October.

These tests were executed by Sandia National Laboratories from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

They were carried out to demonstrate the development of the US Navy ’s conventional prompt strike (CPS) and the US Army’s long range hypersonic weapon (LRHW) capabilities.

The rocket launches demonstrated ‘advanced hypersonic technologies, capabilities, and prototype systems in a realistic operating environment.’

They were based on hypersonic experiments from partners such as AHPO, the Joint Hypersonic Transition Office, Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory, SNL, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The US Navy said in a statement: “This test is a vital step in the development of a navy-designed common hypersonic missile, consisting of a Common Hypersonic Glide Body (CHGB) and booster, which will be fielded by both the navy and army with individual weapon systems and launchers tailored for launch from sea or land.”

Hypersonic weapons can travel at over five times the speed of sound, or about 6,200kph in the upper atmosphere.

The tests come after US President Joe Biden expressed concerns about the Chinese hypersonic weapons, reported Reuters.

The US has been developing hypersonic weapons as a part of its conventional strike programme since the early 2000s, with firms such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies working on hypersonic weapon capabilities.

Earlier this month, Lockheed Martin opened an advanced production facility focused on hypersonic strike production in the US state of Alabama.

In July, Northrop also broke ground on a new engineering and hypersonic production facility at Elkton in Maryland, US.

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