'Anomaly' Spoils U.S. Army's Hypersonic Missile Test

The U.S. Army's latest test of an advanced hypersonic weapon had to be terminated shortly after Monday's liftoff from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska due to a "flight anomaly," the Defense Department said. No injuries were reported, and program officials are looking into the cause of the anomaly, according to a Pentagon statement. Kodiak's KMXT-FM reported that the rocket carrying the prototype weapon nosed down seconds after launch, forcing operators to press the self-destruct button.

The test was part of the Defense Department's Conventional Prompt Global Strike program, which is aimed at developing low-cost conventional weapons that can strike anywhere in the world in less than an hour. The flight profile calls for a weapon-laden glider to be launched aboard a rocket, and then sent out at speeds of more than Mach 5, or 3,500 mph. In 2011, the U.S. Army successfully tested a hypersonic weapon prototype, but other tests have not gone as well.



— Alan Boyle