The United States Air Force is preparing to test launch its new hypersonic missile that is said to be capable of flying 20 times the speed of sound.
The Air Force said that the booster test, which will take place sometime this month, will have a B-52H bomber carry an AGM-183A missile high into the air and launch it at more than five times the speed of sound.
The missile, an Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), would then deploy a dummy second stage that would ‘disintegrate’ somewhere in the atmosphere.
The upcoming test this month will only test the missile’s rocket booster rather than the missile as a whole.
When the finalized weapon is deployed, it is the second stage that will push the missile to hypersonic speeds making it almost invulnerable to anti-missile defenses.
The test flight will ‘demonstrate the booster’s ability to reach operational speeds and collect other important data,’ according to the Air Force.
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Source: Daily Mail