The US wants to stay in front of China with hypersonic weapons able to travel at five-times the speed of sound and destroy targets with a “kinetic energy” warhead.
The Air Force and Australia fired an experimental hypersonic weapon into the Australian skies — traveling at speeds faster than one-mile per second, a Pentagon report said.
“This was just the latest in a series of tests of the HiFIRE 4, which was also tested in Hawaii and Norway in 2012. While the designed speed of the hypersonic missile is faster than that of sound, its advantage lies in its enhanced maneuverability and smooth flight path, which is much harder to track than that of traditional missiles,” the Pentagon report said.
This test is all part of an aggressive Air Force effort to accelerate hypersonic weapons development, following findings from a recent service report identifying Russian and Chinese ongoing hypersonic weapons testing.