Hypersonic flight test goes like a rocket

Minister for Defence Marise Payne revealed the tests of the missiles at Woomera Test Range which exceed speeds of 10,000km  h or more than five times the speed of sound

Hypersonic flight test goes like a rocket

"Hypersonic flight is more than five times the speed of sound and has the potential to revolutionise air travel, making it faster and cheaper to travel around the world and into space", Minister Payne said. The launch was part of a military research project between the USA military and Australia.

The rocket blasted off through Australian skies on an unspecified date in early July.

The device is part of a £41 million project with previous tests carried out in Hawaii and Norway.

"The experimental flight, designated as "HIFiRE 4", was part of the HIFiRE Program conducted by the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group and US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), partnering with UQ, Boeing, and BAE Systems".

The latest test came amid criticisms voiced by some members of the US Congress over the lack of response by the Pentagon to the alleged development of the hypersonic capabilities by Moscow and Beijing, The Drive noted.

While the designed speed of the hypersonic missile of Mach 8 (8000 km/hr) nears that of a typical intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the hypersonic glider's advantage lies in its enhanced maneuverability.

UQ Chair of Hypersonic Propulsion Professor Michael Smart said the triumph advanced the realisation of hypersonic flight in Australia's commercial and defence sectors.

Aerospace engineering researchers from UQ, along with industry and government partners, completed the test flight at Woomera in South Australia.

She said the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) team had achieved significant milestones, including design, assembly and pre-flight testing of the hypersonic vehicles and design of complex avionics and flight systems.

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