Defense Department successfully test-fires hypersonic missile

The agency plans on analyzing data from the test, which saw the missile fly higher than 60,000 feet and farther than 300 miles. 

Published: February 2, 2023 7:48am

Updated: February 5, 2023 3:38pm

The Defense Department has announced the successful launch of a hypersonic missile – as part of an effort to advance U.S. military capabilities amid threats from China and Russia.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said earlier this week that defense technology producer Lockheed Martin's version of the U.S. Air Force Hypersonic Airbreathing Weapon Concept "capped a program that accomplished all of its initial objectives."

"This month's flight added an exclamation point to the most successful hypersonic air-breathing flight test program in US history," Air Force Deputy Walter Price said. "The things we've learned from [the Hypersonic Airbreathing Weapon Concept] will certainly enhance future U.S. Air Force capabilities."

The agency plans on analyzing data from the test, in which the missile flew higher than 60,000 feet and farther than 300 miles. 

China and Russia each have claimed to have successfully launched hypersonic missiles in 2021, which was followed by Space Force Gen. David Thompson acknowledging  the United States was behind in hypersonic capabilities. 

Last year, Russia claimed to have even deployed a hypersonic missile against Ukraine, but defense experts are skeptical about the missile's success.

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