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The US has launched a hypersonic missile from an airborne aircraft: it is the first nation to do so

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The United States of America has successfully launched a hypersonic missile from an airborne aircraft — marking an important milestone in the next-generation arms race against Russia, China and North Korea. As explained by the Air Force, it is not a prototype but the first hypersonic missile to reach operational status.

 

The AGM-183A Air-launched rapid response weapon (Arrw) missile was launched from the B-52H Stratofortress bomber along the California coast. It is the first country in the world to have successfully completed the test of launching a hypersonic missile from an airplane. The result was achieved after more than five years of attempts – all of which had produced unsatisfactory results. The research project cost over $4 billion in 2022 alone.

The US Air Force has thus reconfirmed its supremacy, succeeding where China, Russia and North Korea have, to date, failed. The Arrw missile reached five times the speed of sound , reaching the designated target area with excellent accuracy.

To date, the main countries involved in the development of this technology have only succeeded in launching hypersonic missiles with a parabolic trajectory: they are fired out of the atmosphere, and then fall at very high speed on their target. It follows that hypersonic ballistic missiles can be anticipated and intercepted, although it is extremely difficult to do so.

 

Non -ballistic missiles , such as those launched by the B-52H Stratofortress bomber, are launched at low altitudes and move in a trajectory that is very difficult to intercept. It is very difficult just to spot them before they reach their target.

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