According to the U.S. Defense News, on April 5th, local time, the first air-launched test of the U.S. Air Force’s AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (AARW) failed, the only hypersonic weapon research and development project that the U.Sonic weapon is still continuing in the U.S. Air Force.
The U.S. Air Force said in a statement that the test was carried out at the Cape Mugu Sea Range near the California coast. A B-52H bomber carried the AGM-183A hypersonic missile for air-launch testing, but the test bomb failed to complete the launch according to the launch procedure and could only return to Ed with the B-52H. Waltz Air Force Base.
According to the U.S. Air Force, the test is the first booster test flight (BTF-1) of the AGM-183A missile since the previous seven tether flight test missions.
The purpose includes demonstrating the safe launch of the booster flight tester from the B52H and evaluating the booster performance, the separation of the booster and the fairing. And the separation of simulated gliders.
The booster flight tester was successfully brought back due to the failure of the test, and the U.S. Air Force engineers and testers will investigate the reasons for the test failure.
Heath Collins, Executive Officer of the Air Force Weapons Program, said: “The Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) program has been working to break through the boundaries and assess the risks to move this important capability forward.
While the failure to launch was disappointing, recent tests provided valuable information to learn and move forward, which is why we tested.”
The Air Force noted that the ARRW program’s goal was to provide conventional hypersonic weapon capabilities to fighters in the early 2000s. The weapon system aims to provide the ability to destroy high-value and time-sensitive targets. It will also expand the ability to accurately strike the weapon system by quickly reacting to well-defended land targets.
It is reported that in addition to the ARRW project, the U.S. Air Force originally had another hypersonic weapon development project, the Hypernic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW), but in 20202 In the month, the U.S. Air Force announced the cancellation of HCSW research and development due to budgetary constraints. An Air Force spokesman said at the time that although the HCSW project showed hope, ARRW’s glider design is more unique than other hypersonic weapons being developed by HCSW or the navy and army.
ARRW and HCSW are both hypersonic-assised gliding weapons with orbits below the atmosphere, but the U.S. Air Force is still interested in the hypersonic cruise missile AGM-183A that can fly in lower orbits.
In 2020, then-US President Trump repeatedly said in public that the United States is developing a “super invincible missile”, boasting that it is far faster than that of China and Russia’s ultra-sonic missile, and even said that it is “four, five, six or even seven times faster than ordinary missiles.” When the U.S. “space air force” flag was unveiled in the Oval Office of the White House on May 15, Trump claimed that the “super invincible missile” was 17 times faster than the fastest missile in the United States.
Trump also said at a rally on October 18 that the United States “now has the strongest [weapon] in the world”. Russia, China, North Korea and all other countries envy us.
According to PBS, Trump’s “super invincible missile” is likely to be the AGM-183A air-launched rapid reaction weapon under development.