Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) fails to fly in 2020 as planned, due to test problems

Jan. 5, 2021
Hypersonic aircraft fly faster than Mach 5, and are challenging to defend against because of their speed and ability to maneuver unpredictably.

ARLINGTON, Va. – An attempt by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force to fly the first Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept [HAWC] experimental missile failed in December because of testing problems, sources report. Air Force magazine reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

5 Jan. 2021 -- DARPA officials announced in September they had completed captive-carry testing of the two HAWC vehicle types and would be flying at least one by the end of the year.

The Air Force and DARPA got telemetry aircraft up and cleared the test area, but the missile apparently was not released from its B-52 mothership. The exact nature of the problem was not disclosed, but sources implied there were “basic errors” having to do with the mechanics of the test.

The service is expected to test the AGM-183 Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) by the end of the month, but that is an Air Force-only boost-glide hypersonic missile program proceeding separately from HAWC.

Related: Northrop Grumman to build 19 GQM-163A drones for training defenders to fight hypersonic cruise missiles

Related: Draper searches for enabling technologies in guidance for submarine-launched hypersonic munitions

Related: Air Force asks industry for companies able to design an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile in 17 months

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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