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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

US tests ARRW hypersonic weapon for first time since failure in March

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 The US Air Force conducted the first test fire of the hypersonic Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) since a failed test in March, an Air Force spokesperson said in a statement to Sputnik.

“The test was conducted Aug. 19 off the coast of southern California,” the statement said on Monday. “A B-52H Stratofortress conducted a recent test of the All-Up-Round AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon. This test launched a full prototype operational hypersonic missile and focused on the ARRW’s end-to-end performance.”

The Air Force said it gained valuable new insights into the capabilities of the missile.

“While we won’t discuss specific test objectives, this test acquired valuable, unique data and was intended to further a range of programs such as ARRW and HACM,” the statement said. “We also validated and improved our test and evaluation capabilities for continued development of advanced hypersonic systems.”

After the announcement of the March 13 test, the Air Force was silent on whether it achieved its objectives. On March 28, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told Congress it was “not a success.”

The test comes amid competition between the United States, Russia and China to develop hypersonic weapons, which may overcome traditional air defense systems.

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