Upcoming tests show how Air Force leaders want to accelerate hypersonic weapons development and deployment

March 29, 2021
The ARRW test missile was delivered to Edwards Air Force Base in March for flight tests, as work begins on pre-flight ground tests and checks.

ARLINGTON, Va. – U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) experts have identified hypersonic weapons as one of the highest-priority modernization areas for the U.S. military, as potential near-peer adversaries including China and Russia develop their own capable systems. 19fortyfive reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

29 March 2021 -- The DOD has developed a hypersonics weapons modernization strategy that would accelerate development of transformational warfighting capabilities, says Mike White, principal director for hypersonics in the office of the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. White made his comments last month at the virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium of the Air Force Association in Arlington, Va.

“We will deliver strike capability to the warfighter in the early-mid 2020s and a layered hypersonic defense capability — first terminal and then glide phase — in the mid-late 2020s,” White said. “For reusable systems, our goal is to deliver capability in the early to mid-2030s.”

Over the past 25, the Air Force Research Laboratory has invested more than $1.7 billion to develop hypersonic technology. The efforts will soon be put to the test. The Air Force announced is preparing for the first booster flight tests (BTF-1) of its AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), which is expected to take place before the end of April.

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John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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