US Successfully Conducts Hypersonic Booster Test In Utah 

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Oct 30, 2021 - 11:00 PM

The US Navy successfully tested a booster rocket motor to launch a hypersonic vehicle on Thursday. The test comes a week after China stunned the world with the launch of its hypersonic missile.

A "static firing" of the hypersonic rocket booster motor was conducted in Promontory, Utah, according to a Navy statement.

The US Navy "successfully conducted a second test of the First Stage Solid Rocket Motor (SRM) on October 28, 2021, in Promontory, Utah, as part of the development of the Navy's Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) offensive hypersonic strike capability and the Army's Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW)."

"Today's successful test brings us one step closer to the design validation of our new hypersonic missile that will be fielded by both the Navy and the Army," said Vice Adm. Johnny R. Wolfe Jr, Director, Navy's Strategic Systems Programs, which is the lead designer for the common hypersonic missile.

"We are on schedule for the upcoming flight test of the full common hypersonic missile. Our partners across government, industry, and academia are continuing the excellent work that is essential to providing a hypersonic capability to our warfighters as quickly as possible," said Wolfe. 

The latest SRM test follows a series of ones validating the services' new hypersonic weapon. The last tests were on May 27 and August 25. The Navy said that this one focused on testing the first stage solid rocket motor included a thrust vector control system.

Last week, the services announced three hypersonic component prototypes were tested at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. A statement from the Pentagon at the time said the tests would help "inform the development of the Navy's Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) and the Army's Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) offensive hypersonic strike." Flight tests of the booster rocket and hypersonic weapon are set for the second half of 2022. 

The latest round of US tests comes just days after China stunned the world with its hypersonic missile launch. Even though Beijing later denied and downplayed it as a "routine spacecraft experiment," - General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Bloomberg TV the hypersonic developments from China are similar to a "Sputnik moment."