The US Air Force announced it completed the final captive-carry test of the AGM-183A air-launched rapid response weapon (ARRW) on August 8, coming another step closer to fielding a hypersonic weapon.
The ARRW was tested under a wing of a B-52 Stratofortress off the Southern California coast, the service said.
The flight resulted in the successful transmission of telemetry and GPS data from the AGM-183A IMV-2 (instrumented measurement vehicle) to Point Mugu Sea Range ground stations.
The test verified system integration with the B-52 launch platform and telemetry while practicing concepts of operations that will be utilized during its first booster test flight later this year.
“This is a major milestone for the program, the team and our air force,” said Brig. Gen. Heath Collins, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Weapons. “ARRW is the first step in bringing game-changing hypersonic capabilities to our warfighters.”
The ARRW program is a rapid prototyping project aimed at delivering a conventional hypersonic weapons capability in the early 2020s. The weapon system is designed to provide combatant commanders the capability to destroy high-value, time-sensitive targets.
ARRW will also expand precision-strike weapon systems’ capabilities by enabling rapid response strikes against heavily defended land targets.
“The event this week demonstrated the ability to communicate with the prototype weapon; the entire team is excited to take the next step and begin energetic flight test of our first air-launched hypersonic weapons,” said Lt. Col. Michael Jungquist, 419th Flight Test Squadron Commander and Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force Director.
The ARRW program development began with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Tactical Boost Glide demonstration system, which will be integrated into the ARRW payload. It has successfully completed two prior captive-carry tests.