U.S. Air Force conducts successful hypersonic weapon test

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The U.S. Air Force announced Monday it had successfully conducted a hypersonic limb test. 

In a release, the Air Force said a B-52H Stratofortress launched an Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) disconnected the seashore of Southern California Saturday. After separating from the aircraft, the weapon's booster ignited and burned for "expected duration," according to the release, and past achieved hypersonic velocity – 5 times greater than the velocity of sound. 

Air Force conducts latest hypersonic limb   formation  trial  FILE: A B-52H Stratofortress assigned to the 419th Flight Test Squadron undergoes pre-flight procedures astatine Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 8, 2020.  U.S. Air Force / Giancarlo Casem

Saturday's trial marks the service's archetypal palmy trial of the ARRW. The work antecedently conducted 3 consecutive tests that failed, according to the Congressional Research Service.  

The 419th Test Squadron and Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force astatine Edwards Air Force Base successful California conducted the test. 

"Our highly-skilled squad made past connected this archetypal air-launched hypersonic weapon," Lt. Col. Michael Jungquist, the 419th FLTS commandant and GPB CTF director, said successful a statement. 

The Air Force's Program Executive Officer for Weapons, Brig. Gen. Heath Collins, praised the squad successful a connection for "overcoming the past year's challenges" and getting to this success. 

"We are acceptable to physique connected what we've learned and proceed moving hypersonics forward," Collins said.   

The Army, Navy, and DARPA besides support hypersonic weapons programs.  

China and Russia person developed hypersonic weapons, and U.S. defence officials person said that Russia has utilized hypersonics weapons an estimated 10 to 12 times successful its penetration of Ukraine. 

But Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told Congress past week that the mode the Russians are utilizing hypersonics hasn't fixed them overmuch of a battlefield vantage truthful far. 

"Other than the velocity of the limb successful presumption of its effect connected a fixed target, we are not seeing truly important oregon game-changing effects to day with the transportation of the tiny fig of hypersonics that the Russians person used," Milley said. 

Eleanor Watson

CBS News newsman covering the Pentagon.

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