US Air Force Successfully Tests AGM-183A/ARRW Hypersonic Missile Which Claimed Mach 20 Speed

US Air Force Successfully Tests AGM-183A/ARRW Hypersonic Missile Which Claimed Mach 20 Speed
US Air Force Successfully Tests AGM-183A/ARRW Hypersonic Missile Which Claimed Mach 20 Speed

International Military - The United States Air Force (US) successfully conducted the first test firing of the AGM-183A or ARRW hypersonic missile. Although it has not provided detailed technical information, the AGM-183A hypersonic missile is said to have a maximum speed of Mach 20 of around 24,000 km/hour.

The test firing of the ARRW hypersonic missile was conducted on Friday December 9, 2022 at a training ground off the coast of California. "This test is the first launch of a fully operational missile prototype," said a statement by the US Air Force (USAF), which was released Monday, December 12, 2022 quoted from

The exact speed of the AGM-183A hypersonic missile is unknown, although some unofficial accounts suggest it may reach Mach 20 or 20 times the speed of sound. The AGM-183A hypersonic missile was designed by Lockheed Martin and built by DARPA in the Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon or ARRW (Arrow) program. “The ARRW team successfully designed and tested an air-launched hypersonic missile in five years. I am immensely proud of the tenacity and dedication this team has shown to provide a vital capability for our servicemen,” said Brigadier General Jason Bartolomei, Program Executive Officer of the USAF Armament Directorate.

According to the US Air Force, the ARRW hypersonic missile is designed to quickly destroy high-value fixed targets in high-risk environments. ARRW hypersonic missiles target enemy missile sites, radar stations, air defense installations, enemy base facilities or infrastructure, destroying them quickly.

The AGM-183A hypersonic missile has been undergoing flight tests since April 2021, but a series of failed tests has raised doubts. Now the ARRW hypersonic missile has successfully undergone test firing, thus increasing the confidence of the US Air Force to buy it.

The US Department of Defense announced the test of the AGM-183A hypersonic missile fired from a modified B-52H bomber. The AGM-183A hypersonic missile is known as a boost-glide vehicle, with a warhead or projectile that launches towards the target after being ejected by a booster rocket.

ARRW hypersonic missiles are mounted under the wings of aircraft, like the B-52H bomber, before being released or fired at targets. Then it is propelled by a solid rocket which lifts the missile to a height and reaches a certain speed. Upon reaching a certain point the payload fairing opens and releases the wedge-shaped slide propulsion vehicle inside.

Boost-glide vehicles, unlike ballistic missiles, follow an arc-shaped trajectory, instead gliding to the target along a flat trajectory and making sudden maneuvers towards the target. This maneuverability, exercised at extreme speeds, makes ARRW missiles very difficult to detect, track and destroy enemy air defense systems. To that end, the Ministry of Defense is also developing a new interceptor class missile to help fight the opponent's hypersonic threat which is also growing.

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