The U.S. Army released rare footage of its secretive hypersonic missile on Tuesday, in a video montage first acquired by The Drive. The missile has been referred to by U.S. President Donald Trump as his "super duper missile."
The video shows a hypersonic test launch from Hawaii conducted on March 19th 2020 in what the army refers to as Flight Experiment 2. And that's pretty much all we know about the missile except from some reports that state it will be reaching speeds of Mach 17.
Trump has said that this missile has an accuracy of 14 inches (36 cm) from its “center point" but that has not been confirmed from any military sources. All we have for now is a video narrated by army Lieutenant General L. Neil Thurgood, the Director for Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology.
"It gets off the pad pretty quick," Lieutenant General Thurgood said in his narration without revealing any specific details. "It gets pretty high pretty fast."
How high did it go? What speeds did it achieve? None of that is revealed. Instead, the video ends with the vehicle hitting its mark. “That is the explosion at the other end,” the Lieutenant General said.
However, even then it is unclear what happened. Did a warhead actually explode? Or was it just the effects of the vehicle slamming into the target at hypersonic speed?
When it comes to Trump's "super duper missile" there are still more questions than answers. We know some general facts such as that hypersonic missiles are missiles that travel at least five times the speed of sound.
They are also considered highly maneuverable and can operate at various altitudes. Time will tell which of these criteria the new missile meets and more importantly what it will be used for.