In a recent round of tests, the Army’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon was destroyed four seconds after the launch process after an anomaly was detected. The Advanced Hypersonic Weapon is a new type of bomb delivery system that can put 12,000 pounds of ordnance on target anywhere in the world in one hour or less.
“the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, as part of the Defense Department’s Conventional Prompt Global Strike technology development program, conducted a flight test of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska,” explains the Department of Defense press release.
“Due to an anomaly, the test was terminated near the launch pad shortly after lift-off to ensure public safety. There were no injuries to any personnel.
“Program officials are conducting an extensive investigation to determine the cause of the flight anomaly.”
According to locals the launch vehicle noticeably veered out of control right after ignition.
“Scott Wight, a Kodiak photographer, was watching the launch from Cape Greville in Chiniak, about a dozen miles from the launch site,” reports KMXT, an Alaskan public radio station. “He said even at that distance the explosion was quite loud and a scary sight to see.
“Another photographer at Cape Greville said the launch looked out of control and that she wasn’t surprised to find out it was detonated from mission control. She said the resulting fire burned brightly for a short while.”
The Advanced Hypersonic Weapon is carried to orbital speeds by a separate vehicle before being released, gliding to its target at up to 3,500 miles per hour, carrying six tons of payload, conventional or nuclear.