Advanced Hypersonic Weapon First Test Flight
The secret Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) successfully completes its first test flight...
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command has successfully completed the first test flights of its new Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW).
Launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, the AHW flew around 2,400 miles to its impact location at the Reagan Test Site, U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll.
Advanced Hypersonic Weapon Completes First Test Flight
The AHW did not carry any ordnance on its first flight; instead the vehicle was equipped with an array of sensors to analyze aerodynamics; navigation, guidance, and thermal protection technologies.
The AHW is uses a three-stage booster system, developed by Sandia National Laboratories, to launch itself at speeds up to 768 mph, approx. mach 5
Unlike conventional nukes, the AHW is designed to fly a non-ballistic glide trajectory within the earth’s atmosphere. This provides two major benefits; it evades enemy detection, and if by any chance enemy sensors do pick it up, it wouldn’t be mistaken for a preemptive nuclear strike.
The AHW was developed as part of the Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) program; a project managed and executed by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command program office in Huntsville, Ala.
- Press Release: Department of Defense Announces Successful Test of Army Advanced Hypersonic Weapon Concept. U.S. Department of Defense, 11/17/2011.
- Sam Biddle: Army Tests Its Own Secret Supersonic Attack Vehicle. Gizmodo, 11/17/2011.