New Hypersonic Weapon Can Reach Anywhere on Earth in One Hour

Nov 25, 2011 by
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The AHW. Image Source: US Army via Wired.

Black Horizon is reporting that on Thursday, 17 November, the Pentagon tested a new, steerable, flying bomb (an Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, or AHW) that travels faster than the speed of sound, allowing the US Military to reach any place on Earth within one hour. The Military isn’t saying exactly how fast it is, but this test is one step within the one hour goal; some reports say it traveled at Mach 8 but is intended to go much faster. The top speed is rumoured to be Mach 20. It took the weapon took less than 30 minutes to travel 2,300 miles.

The AHW is part of the ‘Prompt Global Strike’ program. They’re not being overwhelmingly secretive: the Department of Defense live Tweeted the last test they conducted, which didn’t turn out as well. The AHW spokesperson is Lt. Col. Melinda Morgan, who on November 16 also announced Boeing’s delivery of a batch of 30,000 pound bunker-busting bombs to the Air Force, with the remark that the bombs were a “weapon system designed to accomplish a difficult, complicated mission of reaching and destroying our adversaries’ weapons of mass destruction located in well-protected facilities.”  There’s even something for the critics in this story, who think the research may one day aid space exploration. For more reports, go here, here, here, here and here.

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