Additional work will be required to get the new aircraft for the US Air Force. hypersonic weapon up to speed.
This system, known as the AGM-183A Airborne Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), is designed to be launched in the air from under the wing of a carrier aircraft.
The rocket was scheduled to do so for the first time on Sunday (April 5) during a test flight off the coast of Southern California. But the prototype ARRW launch vehicle failed to deploy as planned with its B-52H Stratofortress, and the plane returned to Edwards Air Force Base with the missile installed.
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“The ARRW program pushes the boundaries from the start and takes calculated risks to advance this important opportunity,” said Brig. General Heath Collins, Executive Director of the Arms Directorate Program, the BBC said in a statement… “While the lack of launch was disappointing, the recent test provided invaluable information from which to learn and move forward. This is why we are testing. “
Hypersonic vehicles travel at Mach 5 and above – at least five times faster than sound speedthat is about 761 mph (1225 km / h) at sea level. The ARRW system, created for the Air Force by aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, is likely to fly at speeds from Mach 6.5 to Mach 8, or 5,000 to 6,000 mph (8050 to 9650 km / h). The Drive reported last fall…
Once the launch vehicle reaches that speed, it will deploy a non-motorized but maneuverable gliding vehicle with a warhead. Such maneuverability is the key difference between hypersonic technology and intercontinental ballistic missilesthat follow predictable trajectories.
The Air Force said in a statement that the ARRW “is designed to provide the capability to destroy important, time-sensitive targets.” “It will also expand the capabilities of precision weapons systems, allowing rapid strikes against well-protected ground targets.”
To date, the Air Force has performed seven ARRW captive flights in which the B-52H deliberately held a missile from takeoff to landing. Sunday judgment was to be ARRW’s first trial. The goal was to demonstrate the safe deployment of the launch vehicle and collect enough data to assess key elements of the missile system’s performance, according to Air Force officials.
More testing is likely to be done in the near future as the Air Force wants ARRW to be launched and launched in the early 2020s. If ARRW does get ready for battle, that will be the first; The US has yet to deploy an operational hypersonic weapons system, despite extensive development work on several different concepts.
Mike Wall is the author of “There“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the quest for alien life. Follow it on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.