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Second U.S. hypersonic missile test fails; Trails China, Russia

The U.S. has fallen behind China and Russia in hypersonic weapons technology.
by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News July 4, 2022

The Department of Defense confirmed that, for the second time in less than a year, a U.S. test of a hypersonic missile has failed.

The missile prototype test was conducted from Hawaii last week.

"An anomaly occurred following ignition of the test asset," Tim Gorman, a Pentagon spokesman and Navy lieutenant commander, said in a statement to Bloomberg.

In October 2021, the "Conventional Prompt Strike" hypersonic prototype also failed to launch. That failure occurred just days after China successfully tested a hypersonic missile that literally traveled all the way around the Earth.

Related: U.S. under Biden seen surrendering to China on hypersonic missiles, bioweapons, April 12, 2022

Russia in 2019 became the first country to successfully complete a launch of the next-generation missiles that can reportedly travel up to 27 times faster than the speed of sound and dodge whatever defense systems attempt to block them.

The U.S. military has successfully launched at least one hypersonic weapon, DARPA's Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept — though reports indicate that missile "only" goes five times the speed of sound.

Along with Russia and China, North Korea is also said to have conducted hypersonic missile launches that reportedly traveled hundreds of kilometers, Bloomberg reported.

In an April appearance before the House Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was questioned about the U.S. falling further behind China and Russia in hypersonic technology.

“You recently called in the defense industrial community that were involved in the hypersonics development as to how we can speed that up,” Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner said. “We’re behind our adversaries.”

Without denying that, Austin said “we have to be careful” because “hypersonic is a capability, sir, but it’s not the only capability.” He added “I have engaged industry” to “make sure that they’re leaning into” hypersonic development.

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