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Air Force delays hypersonic missile program after flight test ‘abnormalities’
The AGM-183 Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) was supposed to reach early operational capability, a milestone in weapons testing and development, before October. But following a series of flight test failures last year, the Air Force has postponed the first test of the full missile and booster until sometime next year. tax, which begins in October. Further testing will follow later in the year, the Air Force said.

“The ARRW production decision remains event-driven and will come after operational utility has been demonstrated through successful flight testing of the end-to-end system,” the Air Force said.

The ARRW missile, built by Lockheed Martin, is designed to destroy “high-value, time-sensitive targets,” according to the Air Force. It is also supposed to allow the military to quickly strike a well-defended target on land.

The program delay, first reported by Bloomberg, comes as lawmakers have expressed growing frustration that the United States is falling behind adversaries like China and Russia in developing hypersonic weapons. .

At a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, Republican Representative Mike Rogers of Alabama warned that China has “more troops, more ships and more hypersonic missiles than the United States,” while the Republican Representative Michael Turner of Ohio said the defense industrial base must “accelerate” hypersonic development.

CNN reported earlier this week that the United States had successfully tested another hypersonic missile – the Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept – but kept quiet about the test so as not to escalate tensions with Russia. The test came days after Russia said it used its own hypersonic Kinzhal missile during its invasion of Ukraine.

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