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UArizona kicks hypersonic research into hyper speed

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 10:13 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - ”Arizona’s future is very bright right now,” said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

Researchers at the university of Arizonan are kicking hypersonic research into hyper speed, and Ducey paid them a visit on Thursday, Dec. 2.

Thanks to federal grants and state funding, the university is upgrading its wind tunnels.

Researchers gave Ducey a tour of those wind tunnels, designed for test flights, though there is no word yet on when a real flight test may take place. This is just part of the process to develop revolutionary hypersonic technology.

Hypersonic speed is five times the speed of sound which is equivalent to about 3,800 miles an hour. Making missiles that travel that fast is quickly becoming the new arms race on the international stage because at that speed the weapon would be nearly impossible to stop.

“Not only is what we’re seeing critical to the future of our economy, it’s critical to the future of our national defense,” said Ducey.

China and Russia are ahead of the United States in terms of developing the critical technology both countries have tested hypersonic missiles and commercial flights.

According to the department of defense in one test a little more than a month ago China even sent a hypersonic vehicle into orbit then brought it back down after it had circled the planet. The tests came as a surprise to many in the United States.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said “I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that. It has all of our attention.”

The U.S. is also conducting tests with mixed results.

Right now, the most successful are in a vehicle made by Northrup Grumman in Chandler and Raytheon in Tucson.

It’s called Hawk, short for Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, it was successfully tested back in September.

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