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US conducts successful test of hypersonic missile, says air force

WashingtonEdited By: Manas JoshiUpdated: Dec 13, 2022, 05:38 AM IST
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Image of a B-52H bomber, the type of bomber plane that was used in the hypersonic missile test. Photograph:(AFP)

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Hypersonic missiles are being touted as a weapon that can tip the global military balance. Due to their extremely high speeds no defense system currently in wide use can successfully intercept them.

The US Air Force on Monday (December 12) announced that it successfully tested a hypersonic missile. This missiles represent cutting edge, strategic weapons system that's also being developed by Russia and China.

The AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) was launched from a B-52H bomber on Friday off California's coast and "reached hypersonic speeds greater than five times the speed of sound, completed its flight path and detonated in the terminal area," the Air Force said.

"This test was the first launch of a full prototype operational missile," it added.

The US has multiple hypersonic weapons programs. The Pentagon's high-tech research body DARPA tested a different missile earlier this year.

Hypersonic missiles are being touted as a weapon that can tip the global military balance. Due to their extremely high speeds no defense system currently in wide use can successfully intercept them. Hypersonic missiles are capable of being steered to deliver nuclear weapons.

China carried out a test of a hypersonic missile last year, and Russia has used hypersonic weapons during its war in Ukraine. North Korea claims to have conducted test flights as well.

(With inputs from agencies)

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