The development of similar systems is carried out within a very ambitious — and, of course, strictly hidden — programs from the Pentagon's Prompt Global Strike. In short, the task of it — to be able to hit the target in at least some part of the world with a delay less than an hour. But more about the project we were in charge in the article "out of the blue."
One part of the applets — hypersonic aircraft Falcon, which eventually should be able to reach Tremendous speed and flown in the lower space, covering thousands of miles in a matter of a minute. April 22, took the first flight tests of the 1st unit Falcon HTV-2.
Launched aboard the rocket Air Force Base in California, HTV-2 had to climb over the atmosphere and maneuvering, fall, gaining remarkable speed — Mach 20. It is not just hypersound and so called high-spirited hypersound, speed, close to 30 thousand km / h Mashines, capable of flying at such speeds require thermal protection with clay tiles. The wings are unable to carry them do not survive, and the solution is, certainly need to be addressed on the aerodynamic configuration "lifting body". Specifically because it is considered and looked HTV-2, and the accuracy is not clear: public only the external appearance of the device image, and no photographs.
So, starting from California, HTV-2 after only 30 minutes should was hit in the Pacific Ocean, north of the air and naval bases at Kwajalein Atoll. But instead of stuffed with sophisticated electronics system of autonomous navigation of the strongest assembled heat-resistant composites apparatus after 9 minutes into the flight disappeared.
Developers and military who controlled tests have lost contact with him, and what was the premise — as long as it is not clear at all. In general, they argue that the first flight can not be called one hundred percent bad. For the latter measure, HTV-2 successfully climbed to the carrier safely disconnected from it, and even managed to hold a series of maneuvers in the air, "going to a controlled flight in the atmosphere at a speed of more than Mach 20."
In general, for most programs from Prompt Global Strike severe impact this event will not. To achieve this goal developed in parallel as much as 3 families of different technological solutions.
First — to refurbish the existing intercontinental ballistic missiles instead of ordinary nuclear weapons. However, that option, according to professionals, is fraught with unpredictable reactions from other nuclear powers: fixing a similar rocket launch, we can not be sure that it is for the charge.
The second group of solutions is to develop a not very distant cruise missiles capable of reaching speeds of Mach 6.5, and placing them at bases around the world (the layout of one of them, X-51 Waverider, shall be tested in December of the year today ).
Finally, the third option — the development of devices that are similar HTV-2, suitable for placing concrete in the continental United States — and from there to the border 1 hour to reach at least some part of the world. With the trajectory, reaching a close space with the appropriate speed — with their nuclear strike no one will confuse. If you only do such devices will not be equipped with nuclear warheads. So far, fortunately, far earlier.