The US Air Force and Lockheed Martin have partnered to complete a flight test for the second AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) on the service’s B-52 Stratofortress out of Edwards Air Force Base, California.
This captive carry flight was conducted with tactical hardware and fully instrumented to collect thermal, mechanical and digital data from the flight vehicle. This is the first time a tactical ARRW missile has been assembled - additional ground and flight testing will follow over the next two years.
Dave Berganini, ARRW program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, explained, "The team overcame significant challenges driven by the COVID-19 pandemic to achieve this significant milestone for the program."
Hypersonic weapons provide rapid response, time critical capability that will overcome distance in contested environments using high speed, altitude and manoeuvrability.
An operational hypersonic air-launched weapon enables the US to hold fixed, high value, time-sensitive targets at risk in contested environments from stand-off distances.
"This captive carry mission is the pre-cursor for our first booster test flight planned for early 2020s," Berganini added.
Lockheed Martin has played a significant role in the research, development and demonstration of hypersonic technologies for more than 30 years.
The company has made significant investments in key technology and capability development. We have developed deep expertise in the engineering of hypersonic systems and associated challenges through our work with manoeuvring re-entry vehicles, air-breathing engine design, avionics and aero/thermal flight sciences.
The ARRW program matures critical technologies to high-speed flight and accelerates the weaponisation of hypersonic strike capabilities.
The ARRW program brings corporation-wide experience in design, manufacturing, integration and test, and fielding of complex technologies to our customers in the US Department of Defense.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 110,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.