Hypersonic Arms Race Heats Up

Officially dubbed Flight Experiment-1, the test was a milestone achievement for a Pentagon technology development project in the works since 2008 with the aim of giving the president the option to hit high-value, time-sensitive targets anywhere in the world within an hour. It’s known as Conventional Prompt Strike.

One Test, $160 Million

The Halloween test was of a modified version of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) that successfully flew the same route in 2011 in the Conventional Prompt Strike program’s only other successful flight test to date.

Did China Leap Ahead?

The potential for delivering a game-changing capability is prompting a number of nations to pursue hypersonic technologies. The recent U.S. hypersonic success comes as China and Russia are, according to press reports and concerns of some in Congress, actively working to develop a similar ultra-fast weapon, conducting as many as three flight tests a year of the DF-FZ and 3K22 Tsirkon systems, respectively.




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