US Air Force complete hypersonic missile booster testing


The Air Force has conducted another successful hypersonic test off the Southern California coast, July 12.

The Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) Booster Test Flight-3 was the 12th flight for the program and third release demonstration. The AGM-183A weapons system reached hypersonic speeds and primary and secondary objectives were met.

AARW will be capable of travelling at average speeds of between Mach 6.5 and Mach 8 and will have a range of approximately 1,000 miles (1,600km).

ARRW is an air-to-ground prototype missile the US Air Force is developing with Lockheed Martin which uses the Tactical Boost Glide system, work on which began in 2015. The missile is launched from a rocket booster and glides to its target at hypersonic speeds and is known generally as a hypersonic glide vehicle.

The ARRW program aims to reach Early Operational Capability next year.

Brig Gen. Heath Collins, Armament Directorate program executive officer for the US Air Force said, “This was another important milestone for the Air Force’s first air-launched hypersonic weapon. The test successfully demonstrated booster performance expanding the operational envelope. We have now completed our booster test series and are ready to move forward to all-up-round testing later this year.”

ARRW is designed to provide the ability to destroy high-value, time-sensitive targets. It will also expand precision-strike weapon systems’ capabilities by enabling rapid response strikes against heavily defended land targets.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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