USAF To Flight Test Hypersonic Missile, X-51 WaveRide

USAF is all set to flight-test a hypersonic missile,
X-51 WaveRider, with tests scheduled to take place on 22 March 2011.

The 14ft-long X-51 Waverider will be launched from a B-52 bomber flying
over the Pacific Ocean Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range,
and will be rocket-boosted to speeds up to Mach 6.

The flight test is the second of four test flights under the $246.5m Waverider programme, which began in December 2003.

A senior USAF official has confirmed that the X-51 could eventually be turned into a weapon.

The X-51A WaveRider programme is a consortium of the USAF, the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Pratt & Whitney
Rocketdyne and Boeing.