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The weapon is part of the Pentagon's "prompt global strike" program designed to build conventional weapons that could take out targets anywhere on the planet within an hour's notice.
"Less than four seconds into the lift-off phase, we terminated the flight," Pentagon spokeswoman Maureen Schumann told AFP.
The DARPA Falcon Project (Force Application and Launch from CONtinental United States) is a two-part joint project between the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the United States Air Force (USAF) and is part of Prompt Global Strike. One part of the program aims to develop a reusable, rapid-strike Hypersonic Weapon System (HWS), now retitled the Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle (HCV), and the other is for the development of a launch system capable of accelerating an HCV to cruise speeds, as well as launching small satellites into earth orbit. This two-part program was announced in 2003 and continued into 2006.
Blackswift was a project announced under the Falcon banner using a fighter-sized unmanned aircraft which would take off from a runway and accelerate to Mach 6 before completing its mission and landing again. The memo of understanding between DARPA and the USAF on Blackswift—also known as the HTV-3X—was signed in September 2007. The Blackswift HTV-3X did not receive needed funding and was canceled in October 2008.
Current research under FALCON program is centered on X-41 Common Aero Vehicle (CAV), a common aerial platform for hypersonic ICBMs and cruise missiles, as well as civilian RLVs and ELVs. The prototype Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) first flew on 22 April 2010; the second test flew 11 August 2011. Both flights ended prematurely.
originally posted by: Thefarmer
Maybe it's what they want us or other govs to think when in reality the boys up there ready to go
originally posted by: Zaphod58
Almost all the hypersonic flights were considered failures, and were announced as such when they happened.
As for this weapon, other countries have hypersonic missiles in development, so the US is not alone. Most are antiship missiles, but they're still hypersonic.
originally posted by: tetra50
well, wiki's pretty mainstream, though not news. I think The Farmer had a good point.
originally posted by: solargeddon
a reply to: tetra50
Interesting, I wonder if there were any mainstream reports of those tests failing?