Strategic Weapons: American ARRW Missile Tested


April 9, 2024: In March the U.S. Air Force tested its new AGM-183A ARRW (Air launched Rapid Response Weapon) hypersonic missile. The test took place from the Pacific base on the island of Guam. The missile was launched from a B-52 bomber that took off from an air base on Guam. ARRW is a three ton air-launched ballistic missile that is 6.7 meters long with a range of 1,600 kilometers. The Mach 5+ high speed of the ARRW enables it to hit its ground target within twelve minutes of launch. The ARRW guidance system enables the missile to hit its designated target within a meter of the aim point. Each missile costs about $17 million.

Work in developing the ARRW began in 2018 and progress was slow. The project has been threatened with cancellation several times but successful tests of various aspects of the missile kept the program alive. Several times the air force considered abandoning the ARRW and using what had been learned as the basis for developing HACM (Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile) using different propulsion technology. Many Air Force weapons developers wanted to stick with the ARRW, which was now consistently passing tests and is ready for mass production. The HACM requires a lot of development and testing before it can be ready for production by the end of the decade.




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