"Top priority": the US run-up to hypersonic weapons

(To Staff)

The US Navy yesterday successfully conducted a ground test of the first stage of the solid propellant engine of the hypersonic missile it is developing in collaboration with the US Army.

Each armed force will adopt the same hypersonic vector. Launchers dedicated to different land and sea uses are being developed.

The Navy is in charge of the project while the Army leads the production. The adoption of the same missile for the two Armed Forces will lead to savings for economies of scale.

The next test - flight - will take place in the first quarter of 2022, and will also see the definition of the two weapon systems.

Hypersonic weapons are capable of flying at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5), highly maneuverable and operating at different altitudes. In minutes you can beat targets thousands of miles away.

Due to the delay over China and Russia, the US Department of Defense has defined hypersonic weapons one of the top priorities and is working, in partnership with industry, government laboratories and academia, to have that capability from 2023.

Photo: US Navy

(See the episode of Defense ON AIR: "Hypersonic missiles, do we still have time to ignore these game changers?")