Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2)
HTV-2 is an unmanned, rocket-launched, manoeuvrable aircraft that can glide through the Earth’s atmosphere at a top speed of 21,580 kmph. The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched it atop a rocket recently from Vandenberg Air Force Base, but lost contact with it after the vehicle successfully separated from the booster and entered the mission’s glide phase. The project is the part of DARPA Falcon Project. The prototype Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) first flew on 22 April 2010; the second test flew 11 August 2011. Both flights ended prematurely.
- The project developed jointly with the Pentagon has the capability to reach anywhere in the world in less than 60 minutes.
- It would take less than 12 minutes to fly from New York to Los Angeles, a journey which takes a normal jet more than five hours.
- The US military hopes that the success of the mission would enable it to strike terrorists or rogue states anywhere in the world in short reaction time. The Falcon HTV-2, to cost $308 million, has the potential of carrying a payload 453kg, including a nuclear bomb. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2025.
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