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Navy, Army Conduct Hypersonic Weapon Flight Campaign

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The U.S. Navy and Army have launched a precision-sounding rocket to test various experiments to guide the development of next-generation offensive and defensive hypersonic weapon systems.

Sandia National Laboratories conducted the flight campaign at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia to inform the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike and the Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon programs, the Navy said Wednesday.

Data collected from the test will guide the development of a Navy-designed common hypersonic missile that both services will use alongside individual weapon systems and sea and land-based launchers.

The sounding rocket contained hypersonic experiments and prototypes from several defense contractors and partners including Mitre, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The U.S. military use sounding rockets to speed up the maturation of weapon technologies before going through the final design stage.

The Missile Defense Agency also participated in the flight campaign to gather data for its weapon development program to counter hypersonic missile threats.