Armed Forces News

A B-52H Stratofortress assigned to the 419th Flight Test Squadron takes off from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 8, 2020. According to the Air Force, the aircraft successfully released an AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW, off the Southern California coast, May 14, 2022. (Air Force photo by Matt Williams)

The Air Force is calling the test-firing of a hypersonic weapon a success. The AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) was released from a B-52H Stratofortress bomber May 14, off the California coast.

Once deployed, the ARRW ignited its booster and reached hypersonic speeds in excess of five times the speed of sound. In time, the weapon would be able to hit “high-value, time-sensitive” targets in contested environments from distances out of reach of retaliatory fire.

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It would be able to hit heavily defended hard targets with precision strikes.

“This was a major accomplishment by the ARRW team, for the weapons enterprise and our Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Heath Collins, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Weapons. “The team’s tenacity, expertise, and commitment were key to overcoming the past year’s challenges to get us to the recent success. We are ready to build on what we’ve learned and continue moving hypersonics forward.”

The 419th Flight Test Squadron and Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force worked together in conducting the test. Both units are based at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
“Our highly skilled team made history on this first air-launched hypersonic weapon,” said Lt. Col. Michael Jungquist, the squadron commander and test-force director. “We’re doing everything we can to get this game-changing weapon to the warfighter as soon as possible.”

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