First US hypersonic weapon will be based on old Sandia work

Sandia National labs developed the hypersonic prototype – “Sandia Winged Energetic Reentry Vehicle Experiment” from 1979 – 1985. This cone-shaped system will be the basis for a $13 million project led by the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Massachusetts.

Sandia will produce the actual prototypes and the Army will be responsible for flight testing them.

SWERVE was about 100 inches long and could reach a peak of Mach 12 before gliding along at a sustained Mach 8 for a full minute. The Army’s goal for AHW was also a sustained speed of around eight times the speed of sound that would allow the weapon to travel around 3,700 miles in just 35 minutes.

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