The first test flight of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) concept was completed today November 17th 2011. The glide vehicle, which is the first of its kind and can fly within the earth’s atmosphere at hyper sonic speed, launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. It traveled to the Reagan Test Site in Kwajalein Atoll.
This yes was designed to collect data on hypersonic boost-glide technologies and test range performance. A large focus was on aerodynamics and the affect on navigation, guidance,control and thermal protection.
The data could help develop other vehicles that could cover a large distance in a short time span to help support various missions and goals. The success or failures of onboard systems and construction will provide invaluable information for the future development of DOD hypersonic boost-glide capabilities and technologies.
Source [DOD Press Release]