US hypersonic test rocket launch fails amid accounts of China’s success: Report
The Pentagon's hypersonic weapon programs suffered a setback on Thursday when a booster rocket carrying a hypersonic weapon failed, people briefed on the test result told Reuters.
“The test was intended to validate aspects of one of the Pentagon's hypersonic glide vehicles in development... Hypersonic glide vehicles are launched from a rocket in the upper atmosphere before gliding to a target at speeds of more than five times the speed of sound, or about 3,853 miles (6,200 kilometers) per hour,” Reuters reported citing unnamed sources.
The Reuters report comes after the Pentagon announced that the US Navy and Army held three “successful” tests on hypersonic weapon component prototypes on Wednesday that will inform the development of new weapons.
The Pentagon’s hypersonic test comes days after the US expressed concern over the Financial Times report which said that China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August.
China denied the report saying instead it was a routine spacecraft check.
The Financial Times, quoting five unnamed sources familiar with the matter, reported last Saturday that China launched a hypersonic missile that completed a circuit around the planet before landing, missing its target.
The Pentagon had said earlier in the month that wanted defense contractors to cut the ultimate cost of hypersoinc weapons because they cost tens of millions per unit.