Washington, May 16 (EFE).- The United States Air Force announced Monday that it had successfully tested a hypersonic weapon, which reached a speed five times that of sound.
The test took place on May 14 at the Edwards Air Force Base in the state of California, the Air Force said in a statement.
A Boeing B-52H Stratofortress subsonic strategic bomber “successfully released” an AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), which is designed to reach a speed of over 24,695 kilometers per hour (15,345 miles per hour), the Air Force said.
It is the first time that the US has successfully tested a hypersonic weapon, Lt. Col. Michael Jungquist, who heads one of the programs for the development of such weapons, said in a statement.
“Our highly-skilled team made history on this first air-launched hypersonic weapon. We’re doing everything we can to get this game-changing weapon to the warfighter as soon as possible,” Jungquist said.
The US is engaged in a race with China and Russia to build hypersonic weapons, which are more difficult to detect by missile defense systems because of their speed.
Australia, the United Kingdom and the US, which recently signed a security pact together, announced in April that they will work to develop hypersonic weapons, something that was received with concern by China.
In October, Washington announced that it was developing hypersonic technology to counter China’s progress in the field following reports that Beijing was testing such missiles.
According to UK newspaper Financial Times, China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August last year.
Beijing later denied the report, saying the exercise was a routine test of reusable aerospace technology. EFE