The US Air Force (USAF) has successfully completed the first hypersonic air-launched rapid response weapon (ARRW) operational prototype missile test.
The test was carried out on 9 December off the coast of southern California.
It was executed by the 412th Test Wing from the Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in California, US.
The test involved the successful launch of the first all-up-round AGM-183A ARRW from the USAF’s B-52H Stratofortress bomber aircraft.
Soon after being launched, the weapon separated from the aircraft and attained hypersonic speeds, which was more than five times the speed of sound.
The USAF informed that this recent ARRW missile test achieved all of its objectives and followed the desired flight path before detonating in the terminal area.
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USAF Armament Directorate Programme executive officer brigadier general Jason Bartolomei said: “The ARRW team successfully designed and tested an air-launched hypersonic missile in five years.
“I am immensely proud of the tenacity and dedication this team has shown to provide a vital capability to our warfighter.”
This was the first time a full prototype operation missile was launched from a B-52 aircraft in any missile test.
All the other test activities conducted previously aimed to assess and validate the booster performance of the weapon system.
The last such booster performance test was conducted in July this year. It was the 12th and last test conducted under the booster test series.
The newest Lockheed Martin-built AGM-183A ARRW is a long-range hypersonic weapon system, which has been designed to provide capability to the forces to strike any high-value, time sensitive target in a highly contested environment.
Recently, USAF personnel and airmen developed a standard procedure to load and unload the ARRW missile onto a B-52H aircraft.