DARPA Successfully Launched an “Air-Breathing” Hypersonic Missile

Hypersonic weapons are a major weapon for the future according to the military.

Last week, the US Air Force and DARPA (the military's advanced research division) successfully flew a hypersonic rocket.

According to DARPA, the test involved a Hypersonic A-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) being released from an aircraft just before its engine turned on. It sent it screaming at more than five times the speed sound. DARPA claims that the missile, named after its engine which takes in and compresses air for propellant, is likely to be a key tool in the military's arsenal once it has been proved to work.

Standard Issue

According to the release, the HAWC team will take the missile and make it a cost-effective and viable weapon for the military. This signals that the military intends to make hypersonic weapons a regular part of future battles.

Andrew Knoedler, DARPA's HAWC program manager, stated that the HAWC flight test was a successful demonstration about the capabilities of hypersonic cruise missiles as a highly effective tool to our warfighters.



It is easy to see the appeal. It is much more difficult to track and stop a missile at high speed, making it harder to spot it before it reaches its target.

Arms Race

For years, the US military has been researching hypersonic weapons. This became even more urgent after Russia announced it had begun to develop and test hypersonic nukes.

Although details are scarce, Russia has previously boasted about its Avangard hypersonic launch vehicle, which can travel 27 times as fast as sound during a successful test launch last Oct. It seems that the US is now starting to catch up and could kick off a terrifying new arms war with each country building larger and more powerful nukes that are almost impossible to stop.

READ MORE: The DARPAS Hypersonic A-breathing Weapon Concept achieves successful flight. [DARPA]



Russia says it successfully tested a hypersonic nuke

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