Defense Department Launches Missile in New Test

Defense Department Launches Missile in New Test

( – To win wars, a country must have the latest technology — or at least better technology than that of its enemies. The US has consistently been ahead of the rest of the world regarding military power and weaponry. However, some claim that changed in 2021, with Russia and China stating they had successfully fired hypersonic missiles. Though quietly, the US was testing missiles of its own. Now, the Department of Defense said it has achieved success.

According to a press release from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), along with the US Air Force, the two completed Lockheed Martin’s version of the Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon (HWAC) program and accomplished all of its goals. The recent test flight was the last for the joint effort and provided the Air Force Research Laboratory with crucial data points that it will use to further develop hypersonic weapons.

The release noted that Lockheed’s HWAC flew higher than 60,000 feet and at speeds of more than Mach 5, five times the speed of sound, and exceeded 300 nautical miles, around 345 miles on land. DARPA mentioned the US currently has two potential hypersonic weapons in its portfolio, one from Lockheed Martin and another from Raytheon.

Last November, US Space Force General David Thompson admitted that the US was falling behind Russia and China regarding hypersonic weapons, per a report from POLITICO. Both countries are potential adversaries of America, and both had successfully tested the super-speed missiles at that point, effectively edging out the US.

Is it possible there are other countries currently developing this groundbreaking technology? If so, what purpose could these Mach 5 missiles serve in future warfare? As of right now, the sheer speed of these weapons means they’re difficult, if not impossible to track on radar, effectively making them indestructible. In other words, the missile could hit its target before the country’s military even knows it’s coming or have a chance to defend themselves.

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