DoD is preparing the 2nd test of the Falcon HTV-2 experimental superweapon
The Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle is designed to skim the top of the atmosphere just below space, and is a key element of the Pentagon‘s Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) capability — a program to build non-nuclear strategic weapons that can strike conventionally anywhere in the world in less than an hour…
The $308 million Falcon HTV-2 is a suborbital near-space vehicle launched on a Minotaur rocket, a solid-fuel booster built from a decommissioned ballistic missile. On the very edge of the atmosphere, in a procedure called “clamshell payload fairing release,” the launch missile deploys the plane, which is then supposed to glide above the Earth at more than 13,000 miles per hour — more than 20 times the speed of sound.
The Pentagon is developing a generation of such hypersonic weapons as a way of being able to strike quickly at urgent threats — such as preparations by terrorists or rogue states to use nuclear weapons.