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DARPA’s hypersonic HAWC completes final flight test at over Mach 5

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) conducted a fourth successful test flight of its Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) vehicle, bringing the program to a close.

The HAWC test vehicle was deployed from a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress plane, at which point its rocket booster ignited, propelling the craft to a speed at which its scramjet engine ignited. Once in flight, the HAWC vehicle flew for over 300 nautical miles (556 kilometers) and reached altitudes higher than 60,000 feet (18.3 km), according to a DARPA statement (opens in new tab). The agency did not give a location or date for the test, stating only that it took place in January 2023.

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