US's hypersonic Falcon missile test a dud?

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Washington, Apr 27(ANI): The Pentagon's test launch of an experimental hypersonic space vehicle last week aimed to develop a new generation of high-altitude weapon systems is being considered a dud.

The United States Air Force (USAF) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had test launched the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2), known as the Falcon, at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

One part of the program aimed to develop a reusable, rapid-strike Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle (HCV), while the other was for the development of a launch system capable of accelerating a HCV to cruise speeds, as well as launching small satellites into Earth orbit.

The Falcon was believed to be a part of the Pentagon's effort to develop the capability to strike anywhere in the world with a conventional warhead in less than an hour - known as Conventional Prompt Global Strike.

The test vehicle launched last week reached Mach 5 on launch, and was designed to crash and sink into the sea and sink near Kwajalein Atoll, 2,000 miles of Hawaii, 30 minutes later and 4,000 miles from the launch site.

However a DARPA statement released last Friday indicates that all was not perfect with the hypersonic craft.

"Approximately nine minutes into the mission, telemetry assets experienced a loss of signal from the HTV-2. An engineering team is reviewing available data to understand this event," The Fox News quoted the statement, as saying.

The statement does not specify whether the Falcon completed any of the test maneuvers before controllers lost communications with the craft.

Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists believe that the Falcon seems to be the culmination of the secret project known as "Aurora", a hypersonic spy plane capable of speeds up to Mach 6 (3,700 mph). (ANI)

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