China has successfully tested its first waverider boost and glide hypersonic vehicle. It is a missile which can carry nuclear warheads and penetrate existing anti-missile defense system.
The Xingkong-2, or Starry Sky-2, was launched in a target range in Northwest China on Friday, the academy said on its WeChat account.
Launched in a rocket, the waverider was released in the air after about 10 minutes. The flight vehicle reached 30 kilometers in altitude and a speed of Mach 5.5-6 (6 times the speed of sound).
It flew independently, made large-angle turning maneuvers, and landed in the targeted area as planned.
Waverider is a flight vehicle that flies in the atmosphere and uses shockwaves generated by its own hypersonic flight with the air to glide at high speed.
USA Hypersonic technology vehicle 2
DARPA tested the mach 17 hypersonic HTV-2 several years ago.
The HTV-2’s first flight was launched on 22 April 2010. The HTV-2 glider was to fly 4,800 miles (7,700 km) across the Pacific to Kwajalein at Mach 20. The HTV-2 was boosted by a Minotaur IV Lite rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; the glider was carried inside the nose of the Minotaur IV Lite rocket into outer space with a launch altitude of 100 miles. The flight plan called for the craft to separate from the launch vehicle, level out and glide above the Pacific at Mach 20. Contact was lost with the vehicle at nine minutes into the 30-minute mission, and the glider’s skin disintegrated.
A second flight was on 11 August 2011. The unmanned Falcon HTV-2 successfully separated from the booster and entered the mission’s glide phase, but again lost contact with control about nine minutes after 21 minutes into its planned 30-minute Mach 20 glide flight.
Russian Mach 20 Avangard hypersonic glide missile
Russia has the mach 20 Anangard hypersonic glide missile. Those will be deployed in 2019.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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