The US Air Force has completed the second successful test of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) off the Southern California coast.
The ARRW Booster Test Flight-3 from July 12 was the 12th flight for the program and third release demonstration.
According to the service, the AGM-183A weapon system reached hypersonic speeds, with primary and secondary objectives being met.
“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,” said Brig Gen. Heath Collins, Program Executive Officer, Armament Directorate.
“We have now completed our booster test series and are ready to move forward to all-up-round testing later this year.”
This is the second consecutive successful flight test of the weapon after it previously logged three unsuccessful trials. This led budget appropriators to reduce the amount of money for the program by about $80 million. The spending bill documents stated the no procurement funds were being provided in this act, as “failures and delays in testing” had extended the ARRW program schedule and put a first production lot contract at risk for award in fiscal year 2022. The service hoped to buy first ARRW missiles with a request of $161 million for the program in its fiscal year 22 budget request.
Travelling at speeds of over 5 Mach, ARRW is designed to provide combatant commanders with the capability to destroy high-value, time-sensitive targets. It is also expected to expand precision-strike weapon systems’ capabilities by enabling rapid response strikes against heavily defended land targets.