Successful test of Lockheed Martin’s ARRW hypersonic missile

The US Air Force has conducted a test of a Lockheed Martin hypersonic missile, Reuters reports today, citing a well-informed source, noting that there is concern that Russia and China have made significant progress in the development of hypersonic missile systems.

According to the same source, the ARRW (Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon) missile was successfully launched from an aircraft off the coast of California. In previous tests, the missile had not detached from the aircraft.

Supersonic rockets travel in the upper atmosphere at a speed of 6,200 km/h, about five times the speed of sound.

In a separate successful test of a hypersonic weapon recently conducted, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) demonstrated ‘Operational Fires’ or OpFires: a missile launch system that engages targets with high speed and precision, penetrating enemy air defenses. DARPA has secured $45 million for OpFires from the 2022 budget.

Lockheed Martin is aiming for a modification of its HIMARS multiple launch system to be capable of launching DARPA’s hypersonic weapon. It is recalled that American HIMARS were recently received by the Ukrainian armed forces.

The successful tests followed the failed test launch of a different type of hypersonic missile, the C-HGB (Common Hypersonic Glide Body) on June 29 in Hawaii.

Defense industries aspire to cash in on the new superpower arms race and shift to hypersonic weapons, not only by building them but also by developing new detection and neutralization mechanisms.

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