US successfully tests hypersonic missile off California coast

Lockheed Martin is working on several hypersonic weapons for the U.S.

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The U.S. successfully tested a hypersonic missile off the coast of California on Tuesday.

The Lockheed Martin-produced missile is designated the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW). The plane-mounted missile had previously failed to detach in past tests, according to Reuters.

Hypersonic weapons fly in the upper atmosphere and reach incredible speeds of up to Mach 5, or more than 3,800 miles per hour.

The U.S. has numerous projects researching hypersonic weapons, as do Russia and China. Tuesday's test is at least the third time the U.S. has successfully used one of the weapons since September.

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A Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapons Concept (HAWC) missile in seen in an artist's conception.  Raytheon Missiles & Defense/Handout via REUTERS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.

A Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapons Concept (HAWC) missile in seen in an artist's conception.  Raytheon Missiles & Defense/Handout via REUTERS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.

The U.S. last publicly tested another Lockheed Martin-designed hypersonic in April. The Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) is fired from the ground rather than from an aircraft.

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The weapon reportedly achieved speeds above Mach 5 at an altitude above 65,000 feet and was able to sustain its speed for at least 300 miles.

The U.S. faces staunch competition in developing the weapons, with Russia and China also conducting tests. Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed to have used a hypersonic missile during its invasion of Ukriane earlier this year.

China also successfully tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile last year in a shock to U.S. watchdogs.

The Chinese fired the missile in August, and it circled the globe before striking at its target, missing by roughly 24 miles.

"We have now idea how they did this," one individual familiar with the U.S. intelligence response to the test told The Financial Times.