The arms race is accelerating. This Tuesday, May 17, the United States Air Force announced that it had carried out a successful test firing of a hypersonic missile from a B-52 Flying Fortress. The missile was launched through the ARRW (Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon) system, a system developed by Lockheed Martin, the leading American and global defense and security company.
As BFMTV reports, the missile was fired off the coast of Southern California and reached a speed five times the speed of sound. This announcement demonstrates the determination of the United States to acquire a new weapon with formidable potential. Before this successful test, the ARRW thruster had suffered three consecutive failures.
The United States is trying to catch up with China and Russia
The US Air Force aims to have hypersonic missiles by 2024. The US Navy has also confirmed plans to equip several of its destroyers and submarines with hypersonic missiles by 2028 The defense is also in the spotlight. The Pentagon has contracted with three US defense industry giants, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, to develop a defense system against hypersonic missile attacks.
It must be said that in this area, the United States is lagging behind the other major military powers, namely Russia and China. China, in fact, tested in August 2021 a hypersonic missile put into orbit before descending towards its target, only missing the latter by a few kilometers.
As for Russia, the latter has the Zirkon and Kinjal missiles which have already been tested several times in 2018. Moscow also claimed to have used hypersonic weapons on several occasions in Ukraine to destroy a fuel depot and an underground missile warehouse. and ammunition.
Touted as “invincible” by Vladimir Putin, these new missiles have the advantage of being more difficult to intercept than conventional ballistic missiles.
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