As part of their Prompt Global Strike Program, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command successfully tested the first ever Advanced Hypersonic Weapon glide vehicle on November 18, 2011. In under 30 minutes, they were able to launch a missile from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Hawaii. At the same time, they also got to strike a target at the Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Atoll, which was more than 2,300 miles away.
The prototype they used included the technologies of the developer Sandia National Laboratories. It was responsible for collecting the data that they will use in the improvement of hypersonic warheads in the future.
During the test flight, the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon shadowed a non-ballistic, endo-atmospheric trajectory. This means that it could only follow altitudes below a hundred kilometers as long as it is within the atmosphere of the earth. They reveal that this design feature is quite critical because tracing a much flatter and lower trajectory than regular ICBM stops other nuclear-armed countries from falsely accusing that the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon is a nuclear-tipped missile.
On August 25, 2014, they conducted a second test flight in Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska. However, they terminated the mission just after it took off because the launch vehicle experienced an anomaly. The operators generated a self-destruct command four seconds after the launch. Eyewitnesses claimed that the weapon swerved off the trajectory after liftoff.
The Failure Review Board only published their conclusion regarding the failed launch in February 2015, seven months later. They discovered that the external protective cover, which was supposed to control motor temperature, obstructed the steering assembly of the launch vehicle. Fortunately, they did not find any problems with the Kodiak Launch Complex, booster motors or hypersonic glide body. They also revealed that the Test Range Flight Safety Officer did abide by the established procedures and protocol.