The United States on Friday said that it successfully tested an unarmed hypersonic missile in Hawaii. The Department of Defence in a press release said that it successfully tested a hypersonic glide body in a flight experiment conducted from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii on March 19 at approximately 10:30 p.m. local time.
The launch of the hypersonic glide body, which flew in a hypersonic speed to the designated impact point, was jointly executed by the United States Army and the Navy. Vice Adm. Johnny R. Wolfe, Director, Navy's Strategic Systems Programs, which is the lead designer for the C-HGB said, "This test builds on the success we had with Flight Experiment 1 in October 2017, in which our C-HGB achieved sustained hypersonic glide at our target distances."
"In this test we put additional stresses on the system and it was able to handle them all, due to the phenomenal expertise of our top-notch team of individuals from across government, industry and academia. Today we validated our design and are now ready to move to the next phase towards fielding a hypersonic strike capability.," Vice Adm. added further.
According to the Pentagon, hypersonic weapons are capable of flying at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5), and are highly manoeuvrable and operate at varying altitudes. This provides the warfighter with an ability to strike targets hundreds and even thousands of miles away, in a matter of minutes, to defeat a wide range of high-value targets.
As per reports, China and Russia have also developed similar military and defence capabilities. Russia is also the first country in the world to deploy a hypersonic nuclear missile. India has also developed a Mach 3 range hypersonic cruise missile jointly with Russia, which is named BrahMos. Currently, both the countries are working on a Mach 7 range BrahMos missile.