The United States announced on Tuesday that it had successfully tested a hypersonic missile after apparently remaining silent for two weeks to prevent an escalation of tensions with Russia.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has revealed that the concept hypersonic air-breathing weapon (HAWC) flew above 65,000 feet for more than 300 miles while reaching speeds in excess of Mach 5.
DARPA’s statement made no mention of the timing of the test, but CNN reported that it took place as President Biden prepared to travel to Brussels last month. Biden attended an emergency NATO summit in the Belgian capital before heading to Poland, where he met with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Ukrainian refugees and US troops.
Last month’s launch was the second successful test of the HAWC, with the first test taking place in September.
The United States, which exercised caution during the Russian invasion to contain already high tensions between Washington and Moscow, also canceled a test of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile last week to avoid any misinterpretation by the Kremlin, according to CNN. .
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin originally postponed the test early last month.
The HAWC test was launched to see how the air-breathing scramjet engine would perform, and the missile did not carry a warhead, instead using its kinetic energy to destroy a target, DARPA said.
The United States has accelerated its development of hypersonic weapons after successful tests of similar rockets by China and Russia recently.
President Biden confirmed on March 21 that Russia had launched a hypersonic missile over Ukraine, describing it as an act of desperation in light of fierce resistance by Ukrainian forces that had hampered the advance of Russian troops. in the country.
“The more his back is against the wall, the greater the severity of the tactics he can employ,” Biden warned.
New York Post