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Feb 24

Darpa Plans Test for Hypersonic Weapon

Posted by: lensman
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The Pentagon’s far-out science arm is planning an April test flight for a prototype of a hypersonic weapon that — in theory — could cross the Pacific Ocean in under two hours.

In a solicitation issued late last week, Darpa said it was looking to charter a U.S.-flag vessel to help collect telemetry for the upcoming test of a Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2 (HTV-2). According to the solicitation, an unpowered HTV-2 will be launched on a booster rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and glide to a target site in the Marshall Islands, sometime between April 20 and April 27.

It’s the first public announcement of a flight test originally scheduled for 2009.

The flight test is part of the Falcon program, a Darpa-Air Force project to develop the tech that could lead to a reusable hypersonic vehicle that could take off and land like a plane. It would carry 12,000 pounds of payload over 9,000 nautical miles in less than two hours.

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