US successfully flight tests air-breathing hypersonic weapon

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Us Successfully Flight Tests Air-Breathing Hypersonic Weapon
The Pentagon said on Monday that the US had tested the air-breathing hypersonic weapon. Photo: Getty Images.
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By Mike Stone, Reuters

The United States has tested an air-breathing hypersonic weapon capable of speeds faster than five times the speed of sound, the Pentagon said on Monday.

It marks the first successful test of the class of weapon since 2013.

The free flight test of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) occurred last week, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, said in a statement.

Hypersonic weapons travel in the upper atmosphere at speeds of more than five times the speed of sound, or about 6,200 kilometres (3,853 miles) per hour.

"The missile, built by Raytheon Technologies, was released from an aircraft seconds before its Northrop Grumman scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) engine kicked on," DARPA said.

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