US Conducts ‘Successful’ Test of Hypersonic Missile Technology

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The US Defense Department has an aggressive hypersonic development program, planning up to 40 tests over the next five years, according to a government report.

The United States successfully tested hypersonic missile technology, a new weapons system which is already being deployed by China and Russia, the US Navy said Thursday.

The test, conducted Wednesday at a NASA facility in Wallops, Virginia, is a “vital step in the development of a Navy-designed common hypersonic missile,” the navy said in a statement.

“This test demonstrated advanced hypersonic technologies, capabilities, and prototype systems in a realistic operating environment,” it said.

Hypersonic missiles, like traditional ballistic missiles, can fly more than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5).

But they are more maneuverable than their ballistic counterparts and can trace a low trajectory in the atmosphere, making them harder to defend against.

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