After several failed tests, the U.S. Air Force successfully tested a hypersonic missile off the Southern California coast last week.
USAF reports on May 14, a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress belonging to the 419th Flight Test Squadron and the Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base, California, successfully released an AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW, in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California.
Brig. Gen. Heath Collins, the USAF's program executive officer, said the ARRW test was a "major accomplishment by the ARRW team, for the weapons enterprise, and our Air Force."
"The team's tenacity, expertise, and commitment were key in overcoming the past year's challenges to get us to the recent success. We are ready to build on what we've learned and continue moving hypersonics forward," Heath said.
Lt. Col. Michael Jungquist, 419th FLTS commander, said, "the test team executed this test flawlessly."
It's no secret the U.S. is falling behind the hypersonic weapons race as the largest military in the world, in terms of size and defense budget, has yet to field hypersonic weapons that travel five times greater than the speed of sound.
The Biden administration revealed a new trilateral security pact between Australia – United Kingdom – United States (AUKUS) partnership, a move to "accelerate the development of advanced hypersonic and counter-hypersonic capabilities," the White House said last month.
Jungquist said, "We're doing everything we can to get this game-changing weapon to the warfighter as soon as possible."
The USAF did not mention when the ARRW would enter series production or a timeline on when it would be fielded.