The U.S. Air Force said Monday that it had successfully tested a hypersonic missile off the coast of Southern California.
The tests were conducted on Saturday when the B-52H bomber was out Edwards Air Force Base released by Fr. AGM-183A The Air Rapid Response Weapons, known as the ARRW, said in a statement from the Air Force.
“After separation from the aircraft, the ARRW amplifier caught fire and burned for the expected duration, reaching a hypersonic speed five times faster than the speed of sound,” the statement said.
Successful Lockheed Martin weapons tests stem from three setbacks.
ARRW is designed to attack valuable, time-sensitive targets from a confrontational distance.
“Our highly skilled team has made history with this first hypersonic air launch weapon. We are doing everything in our power to hand over this game-changing weapon to the fighters as soon as possible, ”said Lt. Col. Michael Jungqvist, commander of the 419th Flight Test Squadron.
The rocket flies at hypersonic speed and then slides to its target. The second type of hypersonic weapon under development, the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile, uses an advanced jet engine to fly and maneuver at hypersonic speeds.
The United States is not alone in developing hypersonic weapons, the speed and maneuverability of which make it difficult to track and intercept.
Russia has released hypersonic missiles at targets in Ukraine, and China has tested hypersonic weapons, U.S. military officials said.
Reuters contributed to this article.