The US has successfully tested a sophisticated new hypersonic cruise missile system, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced on Tues.
The test of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), developed by Lockheed Martin, was conducted off America's west coast and flew above 65,000 feet for more than 300 miles. It reached speeds faster than Mach 5 (5 times the speed of sound) using an Aerojet Rocketdyne 'scramjet' engine.
The US, Russia and China all point to each other's development of these weapons as a justification for their own. This arms race risks bleak consequences for the future of humanity, especially as these weapons systems are capable of delivering nuclear warheads.
When Putin fired a hypersonic missile at Ukraine, it was the first case of the use of these weapons in combat in the world. Right now the United States is trailing behind Russia and China. The US must ramp up efforts to protect itself and its Western allies.