Plans that include hypersonic weapons take shape for bomber aircraft that functions as an arsenal plane

Dec. 9, 2019
Air Force has vision for its current bomber fleet, to turn the B-52 Stratofortress, B-1B Lancer, or B-2 Spirit -- into arsenal planes of the future.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) officials may select a bomber aircraft already in the Air Force's inventory to become its munitions-packed arsenal plane, says Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics. reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

9 Dec. 2019 -- Service leaders have been working with the Air Force Global Strike Command on hypersonic weapons tests on the B-52. The Air Force in June flew its first test flight of the AGM-183A Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon, a hypersonic weapon known as ARRW (pronounced "Arrow").

In 1995, the U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency first conceived of the mobile arsenal concept as a ship that would have a limited crew but and as many as 500 vertical launch tubes for missiles to provide ship-to-shore bombardment.

In 2016, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter debuted the idea for an arsenal plane in an effort to make more aircraft multifunctional and relevant to the fight. The initiative has been under the purview of the Strategic Capabilities Office.

Related: Decisions loom on future Air Force Arsenal Plane to fire smart munitions cued by stealthy jet fighters

Related: Russian navy set to test Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missile next year to attack targets at Mach-8 speeds

Related: Air Force ramping-up production of subsonic Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM)

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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