March 20 (UPI) — The Army and Navy, under supervision of the Missile Defense Agency, jointly tested a hypersonic glide body at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii this week, according to the Department of Defense.
According to the Pentagon, the MDA monitored and gathered tracking data from the flight experiment that will inform its ongoing development of systems designed to defend against adversary hypersonic systems.
The experiment — and future tests like it — is intended to inform the DoD’s goal of fielding hypersonic capabilities within the next few years.
Hypersonic weapons can fly at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound and are highly maneuverable, enabling soldiers to strike targets hundreds or even thousands of miles away in a matter of minutes.
In October, Robert Strider, deputy director of Army hypersonic programs, told attendees at the Association of the United States Army convention that the Army expects to deploy a long-range hypersonic weapon system by by 2023.
“This test builds on the success we had with Flight Experiment 1 in October 2017, in which our C-HGB achieved sustained hypersonic glide at our target distances,” said Vice Adm. Johnny R. Wolfe, Director, Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs, which is the lead designer for the C-HGB.
“In this test we put additional stresses on the system and it was able to handle them all, due to the phenomenal expertise of our top notch team of individuals from across government, industry and academia. Today we validated our design and are now ready to move to the next phase towards fielding a hypersonic strike capability,” Wolfe said.