A hypersonic vehicle cruises at a velocity of Mach 5 and greater – five times faster than the speed of sound (1.6573 km/s). There are two variants of hypersonic vehicles: hypersonic cruisers & hypersonic glide vehicles.
The hypersonic cruisers reach their target with the help of a high-speed jet engine ‘Scramjet’, that allows it to travel at extreme speeds, in excess of Mach 5.
The other type of hypersonic (a glider) utilizes re-entry vehicles. Initially, the vehicle is launched into space on an arching trajectory, where the payload is released and falls towards the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds.