Hypersonic weapon flies 2,400 miles at Mach 8 without crashing

The last time the U.S. military tried flying their hypersonic glider weapon, they ran into a little problem when it disappeared from their control screens. Now they've had another try, and this time everything went according to plan.

Back in April of last year the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 was being developed by DARPA, but now it's under the command of the U.S. Army who seem to have worked the bugs out. Yesterday's test flight carried it about 2,400 miles from Hawaii to the Kwajalein Atoll at about Mach 8, which means the trip took only around 20 minutes.

The top speed is actually rumored to be closer to Mach 20, which would allow it to deliver its non-nuclear payload to any point on Earth in less than 30 minutes.

Now renamed the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW), the idea is to have a weapon that can take out an enemy facility before they can respond. The original plan was to re-purpose ICBMs with non-nuclear warheads, but some were worried that anyone seeing a missile headed their way would simply assume it was nuclear, and push the button to start World War III.

No word on then AHW might actually be deployed, and I expect they won't bother to tell us when it is.

U.S. Department of Defense, via Wired

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