The Pentagon relies more than ever on DARPA for its hypersonic programs

If, in the 90s, 2000s and 2010s, the United States had research programs in the hypersonic field, such as X-51 Waverider, the subject was considered of less importance by the Pentagon, and only benefited from limited credits and especially no application program to follow. But when in March 2018, Vladimir Putin announced the entry into service of the airborne hypersonic missile Kinzhal, yet far from representing a remarkable scientific breakthrough in the field, things changed radically in Washington, and the development of hypersonic systems very quickly became a strategic issues for the American armed forces. The entry into service of the Chinese DF-17, the upcoming arrival…

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DARPA has successfully tested a second model of hypersonic cruise missile

When in March 2018, Vladimir Putin announced that the Kinzhal hypersonic airborne ballistic missile would soon enter service, all Western armed forces understood that this new technology would quickly become an operational imperative, and that in this area, they had left it to the Russia, but also to China, which the following year presented its own DF17 hypersonic missile, a far too large advance. If the Europeans, as usual, reacted with the speed of a sea cucumber, the Japanese, Australians, South Koreans and especially the United States reacted with speed and determination, quickly implementing programs aimed at acquiring as many quickly of this type of armament. Mon…

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DARPA's HAWC hypersonic cruise missile successfully completed its maiden flight

In the field of hypersonic weapons, 3 main families of propulsion face each other: hypersonic gliders which are operated by ballistic missiles before being dropped at very high altitude and high speed, and which manage to maintain their hypersonic speed taking advantage of gravity; ballistic or semi-ballistic missiles using rocket engine type propulsion which simultaneously carry fuel and oxidizer to produce thrust; and so-called aerobic systems employing a new type of engine, the Scramjet, which, like a jet engine, uses atmospheric oxygen as an oxidizer to produce thrust. Of course, this last…

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