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Hyperosnic air platforms have been gaining momentum in advanced developments by world defense agencies. These advanced systems can reach the speeds of more than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5, over 6,000 kph).
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking for new materials and technology to accelerate the research and development of hypersonic air vehicles and platforms. The agency is soliciting “innovative research proposals in the area of high performance leading edges for hypersonic air platforms,” US Department of Defense said.
The program titled Materials, Architectures and Characterization for Hypersonics (MACH) seeks to develop new thermal-based design and material solutions, or new coating sand high-temperature materials for sharp, shape-stable leading edges for hypersonic vehicles.
Also in France, the Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly revealed in January that France intends to reach the testing stage on a new hypersonic glider design in two years’ time. The glider will be capable of reaching speeds above Mach 5, with the first test flight scheduled for late 2021, she added. France has awarded a hypersonic glider demonstrator project to ArianeGroup, which will be conducted under overall project management by the French defense procurement agency, DGA, according to defenseworld.net.
Russia test-launched the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, which can fly 27 times faster than the speed of sound in December capable of carrying megaton-class nuclear weapons. It was launched from the southern Ural Mountains and successfully hit a practice target on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) away.