Air Force first test of ARRW hypersonic missile fails after failing to launch from A B-52 jet bomber

April 8, 2021
The boost-glide vehicle can make unpredictable movements compared to traditional ballistic missiles, even those with maneuverable reentry vehicles.

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The U.S. Air Force's hotly anticipated first live-fire flight test of a prototype hypersonic AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) failed Monday when the missile failed to launch. The Drive reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

8 April 2021 -- Air Force officials say there was "an issue on the aircraft," a B-52H bomber assigned to the 419th Flight Test Squadron out of Edwards Air Force Base in California, and it "did not launch" the weapon.

The abortive test was conducted over the Point Mugu Sea Test Range in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California on Apr. 5, 2021. This came a day after the end of a self-imposed 30-day deadline that the Air Force had announced on March 5.

The plan had been for this launch to validate the performance of the missile's rocket booster, as well as the separation of a simulated unpowered boost-glide vehicle payload. The surrogate vehicle was not designed to actually fly and was expected to disintegrate after release from the missile body.

Related: U.S. military gives Boeing another chance to compete in race to develop and test hypersonic cruise missile

Related: China scoffs at recent missile test: disputes U.S. missile-defense capabilities against hypersonic weapons

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

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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