US Air Force test to launch ultra-fast hypersonic missile fails

US Air Force test to launch ultra-fast hypersonic missile fails
The attempt to launch a hypersonic missile from a B-52H Stratofortress, like the one pictured in this 2020 file photo, was unsuccessful. Source: USAF
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Daily US Times: The new ultra-fast hypersonic missile program of the US Air Force suffered a blow on Monday after it failed to launch from a B-52H Stratofortress bomber aircraft flying from Edwards Air Force Base.

The Air Force said in a statement: “B-52H Stratofortress took off Monday over the Point Mugu Sea Range intending to fire the first booster test vehicle for the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) program. Instead, the test missile was not able to complete its launch sequence and was safely retained on the aircraft which returned to Edwards AFB.”

The test failure is a setback to the United States, as the country is engaged in a race with two other powerful countries Russia and China to develop hypersonic weapons at a time of increased global tensions.

The ultra-fast hypersonic missiles are designed to travel at a such a high speed that they can move quickly through heavily defended airspace to attack targets such as airfields, harbors and other installations before they can be shot down. The goal of the weapon is to fly great distances.

The new missile is called an ARRW (AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon). The missiles are expected to be ready for deployment in the next few years.

Monday’s test was specifically aimed at demonstrating the ability of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) to achieve hypersonic speed.

Defense officials say that the Pentagon is aiming to eventually develop a hypersonic missile that can travel at 20 times the speed of sound in a real world military strike. The speed is not far off the speed that Space Shuttles traveled when reentering the Earth’s atmosphere.

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