A flight test of a hypersonic missile system in Hawaii ended in failure due to a problem that took place after ignition, the Department of Defense said, delivering a fresh blow to a program that has suffered stumbles.
It didn’t provide further details of what took place in the Wednesday test, but said in a statement sent by email “the Department remains confident that it is on track to field offensive and defensive hypersonic capabilities on target dates beginning in the early 2020s.”
“An anomaly occurred following ignition of the test asset,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Lieutenant Commander Tim Gorman said in the statement.
“Program officials have initiated a review to determine the cause to inform future tests.” he said. “While the Department was unable to collect data on the entirety of the planned flight profile, the information gathered from this event will provide vital insights.”
The trial marked the second unsuccessful test flight of the prototype weapon known as Conventional Prompt Strike. There was a booster failure in its first flight test in October, which prevented the missile from leaving the launch pad. The Conventional Prompt Strike weapon is envisioned to be installed on Zumwalt destroyers and Virginia-class submarines, Bloomberg reported.