Not even Tom Clancy could write about weapon prototypes like this. The US Army completed testing of its hypersonic weapon yesterday: a test projectile based on DARPA technology, that travelled 2,400 miles in minutes.
The prototype weaponry was launched across the Pacific Ocean, flying at a lower trajectory than typical missiles while travelling at 6,100mph (eight times the speed of sound). We saw DARPA's hypersonic concept launch earlier this year, the Falcon HTV-2 (see left) reaching the bedazzling speed of Mach 20, until it crashed 2,000 miles away from the test finish destination. This $200 million project comes in a military "Prompt Global Strike" effort to ensure that any location around the globe is only minutes away from attack at any one point, meaning that high risk targets could be targeted and destroyed before its too late.
This would improve the Prompt Global Strike, which initially started as sticking warheads to nuclear missiles. The backlash felt could possibly be nuclear retaliation as one of these weapons could be mistaken as a doomsday device. So instead, the hypersonic weaponry would remove the geo-political tensions of simple dropping a missile from space, replacing it with something that screams through the air.
Trust there to be a political different between two equally devastating weapons; but with the Pentagon placing massive funding behind this project, the possibility of consumer hypersonic travel seems more likely, and would be a rather interesting 6,100 mph sequel to the concord.
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