© Reuters. The US Navy, in cooperation with the US Army, is conducting a static test firing of the newly developed 1st stage 34.5
by Mike Stone
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon successfully tested a booster rocket engine on Thursday designed to power a launch vehicle carrying a hypersonic weapon, the U.S. Navy said.
The United States and its global adversaries have intensified their endeavors to build hypersonic weapons – the next generation of weapons that rob adversaries of reaction time and conventional defeat mechanisms. Defense contractors hope to benefit as they manufacture weapons and develop new detection and defeat mechanisms.
This week, the top US military officer confirmed a Chinese test of hypersonic weapons that military experts say appears to show Beijing’s pursuit of an Earth-orbiting system designed to evade US missile defenses.
“We are on schedule for the upcoming flight test of the full joint supersonic missile,” said Vice Admiral Johnny Wolf, Jr., Director of Naval Strategic Systems Programs, lead designer on the program. This flight test, of the combined booster missile and hypersonic weapons, is scheduled for before the fall of 2022.
Last week in Kodiak, Alaska, the United States failed a hypersonic weapon test when the booster failed.
The US military services will use the common hypersonic missile as a base for developing individual weapon systems and launchers designed to launch from sea or land.
The common first-stage hypersonic rocket will consist of a solid rocket motor as part of a new rocket booster integrated with a supersonic gliding body (CHGB).
The Navy said this stationary fire test marked the first time that a first-stage solid rocket engine included a thrust vector control system. Propulsion vector control systems allow rocket engines to be able to maneuver in flight.
The US Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs conducted two previous tests of the solid-propellant missile engine used to develop the Navy’s Rapid Offensive Strike Attack (CPS) capability and Long Range Hypersonic Weapons (LRHW).
arms makers Lockheed Martin Corp (NYSE:), Northrop Grumman Corp (NYSE:) and Raytheon Technologies (NYSE:): Corp touted hypersonic weapons programs at the front of their quarterly earnings calls this week as global focus shifts to the new arms race for an emerging class of weapons.
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