U.S. holds three tests to advance hypersonic weapon programs, Pentagon says

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FILE PHOTO: The briefing room at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia

(Pluralizes 'Laboratories' in third paragraph of Oct. 21 story)

By Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy and Army tested hypersonic weapon component prototypes on Wednesday that will inform development of new weapons, the Pentagon said, calling the three tests successful.

The tests occurred the same day that U.S. President Joe Biden said he was concerned about Chinese hypersonic weapons.

Sandia National Laboratories ran the tests from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia which will help "inform the development of the Navy's Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) and the Army's Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) offensive hypersonic strike," a statement said.

The Navy and Army will conduct a flight test of the common hypersonic missile in fiscal 2022, which began on Oct. 1.

Hypersonic weapons travel in the upper atmosphere at more than five times the speed of sound, or about 3,853 miles per hour (6,200 kph).

These tests "demonstrated advanced hypersonic technologies, capabilities, and prototype systems in a realistic operating environment," the Pentagon said in a statement.

The United States has actively pursued the development of hypersonic weapons as a part of its conventional prompt global strike program since the early 2000s.

Companies such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies are working to develop the hypersonic weapon capability for the United States.

(Reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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