The United States Army aborted a test of a hypersonic weapon after the missile carrying the testbed system suffered an “anomaly” according to the DOD. The system had been tested successfully in 2011.
According to a report by the Washington Free Beacon, the failed test comes less than month after the Wu-14, a hypersonic weapon being developed by the ChiComs, also suffered a failure. The Wu-14 also had been the subject of a successful test earlier. The Army’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon covered a 3,900 miles distance in 30 minutes.
Hypersonic weapons have generated discussion in recent months. One of the major advantages they bring is speed – the Wu-14 reportedly goes at Mach 10, nearly 6,615 nautical miles per hour. Such speeds reduce reaction time, and make it harder to intercept. The hypersonic systems also deliver far more kinetic energy to a target.
Russia currently has a hypersonic weapon in service in the form of the AS-16 Kickback. The missile travels at speeds up to Mach 5, but has a range of roughly 160 miles.