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The US Air Force revealed on Monday that it had conducted a successful test of a hypersonic missile which flew at five times the speed of sound. The test was carried out off the coast of Southern California on May 14.
The Rapid Response Weapon, known as an ARRW, was launched by a B-52 Bomber.
The USAF said: “Following separation from the aircraft, the ARRW’s booster ignited and burned for expected duration, achieving hypersonic speeds five times greater than the speed of sound.”
Brigadier General Heath Collins, USAF program executive officer for weapons, said: “This was a major accomplishment by the ARRW team, for the weapons enterprise, and our Air Force.”
He added: “The team’s tenacity, expertise, and commitment were key in overcoming the past year’s challenges to get us to the recent success.
“We are ready to build on what we’ve learned and continue moving hypersonics forward.”
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Jungquist was even more confident about the launch.
He said: “The test team made sure we executed this test flawlessly.
“Our highly-skilled team made history on this first air-launched hypersonic weapon.
“We’re doing everything we can to get this game-changing weapon to the warfighter as soon as possible.”
The news comes after a Russian defence chief renewed threats to wipe out Britain after signing a new mutual security agreement with Scandinavian nations Sweden and Finland.
Aleksey Zhuravlyov reportedly told state TV Russia 1 said it was “absolutely legitimate” for Russia to question the existence of Finland.
He also claimed a Satmar nuclear missile – also known as “Satan II” – could reach the UK from Kaliningrad, a small Russian enclave in Europe, in around 200 seconds.
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Boris Johnson visited Finland and Sweden last Thursday to secure new security agreements with the Scandinavian states.
Mr Johnson and Swedish premiere Magdalena Andersson said co-operation between Stockholm and London was “even more important” due to the threat from Moscow.
The Prime Minister also revealed that Britain could step in to help Helsinki during a “possible conflict with Russia”.
Sweden and Finland have both formally announced they will apply to join NATO amid concerns about the threat posed by the Kremlin.