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US Army Has First Test Flight of Mach 6 Weapon

Stirling Newberry (848268) writes | more than 2 years ago

Science 2

Stirling Newberry writes "In a terse press release the US Department of Defense announced the first test of the the AHW, which uses rockets to launch and then glides to its target, in a manner similar to the Space Shuttle's re-entry. Earlier ABC News posted a story with animation video of the concept. Over at DefenseTech they argue that the trajectory being different from an ICBM is meant to show that it is not a first strike, but even the comments don't think that explanation flies.

More likely it is the speed of deployment, the ability to strike targets without going high enough to be seen by many advance warning radars, and without using nuclear warheads makes it a precision surprise attack weapon, a kind of super cruise missile for surprise asymetric attacks."

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Useful for delivering other kinds of things? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098358)

Wonder if it could be done smaller scale, deliver other kinds of things, and use some soft of fixed ground-based launching structure.

Re:Useful for delivering other kinds of things? (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098728)

This is a question that has been asked before: how flexible is this as a delivery device? Could it be used to transport people or objects extremely quickly? Or is it just brute force technology that might be useful for individual missions, but which doesn't scale up. Given the boosters, it looks far more as if mobile launch applications would have to have small payloads, where as larger vehicles would have prohibitively expensive and risk prone rockets.

Personally, I prefer solutions that involve mid flight refuel, as these can be scaled to useful commercial transportation. But the signs are that it will have to wait until we get past our current stage of trying to squeeze out one last round of profits out of the current resource curve.

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